Six-month observational study of prompted stair climbing

Jaqueline Kerr, Francis Eves, Douglas Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Despite strong evidence that prompts at the point of choice between escalators and stairs encourage stair use, the long-term effects of stair prompts have not yet been investigated. Presented here are the results of a 6-month observational study of prompted stair climbing. Methods. Escalator and adjacent stair use were monitored in a shopping mall in the Midlands region of the United Kingdom. Participants were coded for gender, age, and ethnicity, A 2-week baseline period was followed by a 12-week intervention using motivating messages on the stair risers. Follow-up data were also collected for 2 weeks immediately after the removal of the banners and 6 weeks later. Results. A total of 45,361 escalator/stair-choice observations were made. Stair use increased significantly during the intervention period and, when the banners were removed, remained higher than at baseline. There were also significant interactions with time across the different population groups. Conclusions. The full public health benefits of increasing physical activity levels can only be realized if the activity is sustained. These results demonstrate that stair-riser banners can elicit a sustained increase in stair use and, even when the banners were withdrawn, overall stair use remained higher than at baseline. (C) 2001 American Health Foundation and Academic Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2001


  • age
  • stair climbing
  • gender
  • exercise promotion


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