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Open AccessArticle

Signage Interventions for Stair Climbing at Work: More than 700,000 Reasons for Caution

1
Departament de Ciències de l’Activitat Física, Centre d’Estudis Sanitaris i Socials, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, 08500 Barcelona, Vic, Spain
2
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
3
Agència de Salut Pública de Catalunya, 08023 Barcelona, Spain
4
Department of General Practice, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
5
Departament de Salut i Acció Social, Universitat de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, 08500 Barcelona, Vic, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(19), 3782; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16193782
Received: 12 September 2019 / Revised: 1 October 2019 / Accepted: 2 October 2019 / Published: 8 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Activity and Health)
Increased stair climbing reduces cardiovascular disease risk. While signage interventions for workplace stair climbing offer a low-cost tool to improve population health, inconsistent effects of intervention occur. Pedestrian movement within the built environment has major effects on stair use, independent of any health initiative. This paper used pooled data from UK and Spanish workplaces to test the effects of signage interventions when pedestrian movement was controlled for in analyses. Automated counters measured stair and elevator usage at the ground floor throughout the working day. Signage interventions employed previously successful campaigns. In the UK, minute-by-minute stair/elevator choices measured effects of momentary pedestrian traffic at the choice-point (n = 426,605). In Spain, aggregated pedestrian traffic every 30 min measured effects for ‘busyness’ of the building (n = 293,300). Intervention effects on stair descent (3 of 4 analyses) were more frequent than effects on stair climbing, the behavior with proven health benefits (1 of 4 analyses). Any intervention effects were of small magnitude relative to the influence of pedestrian movement. Failure to control for pedestrian movement compromises any estimate for signage effectiveness. These pooled data provide limited evidence that signage interventions for stair climbing at work will enhance population health. View Full-Text
Keywords: stair climbing; stair descent; point-of-choice prompts; workplace; pedestrian movement; lifestyle physical activity stair climbing; stair descent; point-of-choice prompts; workplace; pedestrian movement; lifestyle physical activity
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Puig-Ribera, A.; Señé-Mir, A.M.; Taylor-Covill, G.A.H.; De Lara, N.; Carroll, D.; Daley, A.; Holder, R.; Thomas, E.; Milà, R.; Eves, F.F. Signage Interventions for Stair Climbing at Work: More than 700,000 Reasons for Caution. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3782.

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