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Promoting stair climbing: Stair-riser banners are better than posters... sometimes

Olander, E. K., Eves, F. F. & Puig-Ribera, A. (2008). Promoting stair climbing: Stair-riser banners are better than posters... sometimes. Preventive Medicine, 46(4), pp. 308-310. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.11.009


Objective: Stair-riser banners are twice as effective as posters in encouraging stair climbing in shopping centres. This study tested the effectiveness of stair-riser banners in an English train station in 2006-2007.

Method: The train station had a 39-step staircase and an adjacent escalator. Baseline observations (3.5 weeks) were followed by 10.5 weeks of a banner intervention supplemented with 3 weeks of a poster intervention. Both poster and banner featured the message ‘Stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging. Take the stairs’. Ascending escalator and stair users (N=36,239) were coded for gender.

Results: Analyses, controlling for effects of gender and pedestrian traffic volume, revealed no significant change in stair climbing between baseline (40.6%) and the banner intervention (40.9%; p=0.98). Addition of the poster increased stair climbing (44.3%; OR= 1.36, 95% CIs 1.16-1.60, p< 0.001), with the effect reduced at higher pedestrian traffic volumes.

Conclusion: While stair-riser banners had no effect, the poster intervention increased stair climbing. The high pedestrian volumes as the wave of disembarking passengers seek to leave the station would have obscured the visibility of the banner for many commuters. Thus stair-riser banners appear unsuitable point-of-choice prompts in stations where pedestrian traffic volume is high.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Nursing
SWORD Depositor:
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