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, 2 (1) = 12.97, p < .001. Moreover, compared with the first intervention, stair use increased significantly to 85% in the week after the second intervention, 2 (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, 2 (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.
The authors are with the Research Unit for Movement Education and Sport Psychology, Dept. of Sport and Movement Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Tervuursevest 101, 3001 Heverlee, Belgium.