Thursday, 15 November 2007

Shopping mall signs encourage the stairs

Filed under: , , ,

I don't take the stairs much in shopping malls -- my kids beg to ride on the escalators. The novelty will wear off someday, but I hope it doesn't too soon. Yet researchers at a London shopping mall have figured out a way to entice shoppers to choose the stairs over the escalator. It all came down to a healthy message.

Shoppers were greeted with colorful signs mounted on staircase steps reading, "Attention all shoppers: taking the stairs protects your heart." Over six weeks, use of a stairway located next to an escalator went from 4 percent before the signs, to nearly 10 percent after posting. Interestingly, 25 percent more people walked down the stairs as well, even though they couldn't see the signs. How about the additional upper body benefits of hauling those shopping bags?

Don't underestimate the power of stairs on your health. The researchers estimate seven minutes of stair climbing each day can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 60 percent. Your desk job does not need to sabotage your fitness levels if there are stairways nearby.

No comments: