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Exercise Psychology Promoting Stair Use Among Female Employees: The Effects of a Health Sign Followed by an E-mail

This study evaluated the impact of two simple interventions aimed at promoting stair use among female employees at a five-floor worksite. The first intervention involved a “health” sign that linked stair use to health and fitness; it was placed at the junction between the staircase and the elevator. The second intervention involved an additional e-mail sent a week later by the worksite’s doctor, pointing out the health benefits of regular stair use. Stair use increased significantly from 69% at baseline to 77% in the week after the first intervention, c2 (1) = 12.97, p < .001. Moreover, compared with the first intervention, stair use increased significantly to 85% in the week after the second intervention, c2 (1) = 15.58, p < .001. However, stair use decreased to 67% in a follow-up one month after the sign was removed, and was not significantly different from baseline, c2 (1) = 0.41, p = .52. These results suggest that simple and inexpensive interventions such as a health sign in combination with an e-mail sent by the worksite’s doctor can encourage female employees to use the stairs. However, it appears that sustained effort is needed to consolidate these effects.

Authors: Yves Vanden Auweele, Filip Boen, Wanda Schapendonk, Karen Dornez

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