Health Promotion International vol:25 issue:2 pages:183-191
Objective: To test the impact of a simple health-promotion sign on stair-use in three community settings in Flanders, Belgium.
Method: A health-sign was placed at the junction between the stairs and an escalator in a shopping mall and two train stations. Observations took place on four days: baseline, first intervention, post-intervention, and second intervention. In the second station, a second post-intervention phase was added. In total, 1437 choices of shoppers were registered in the mall, while 2869 and 2025 choices of commuters were recorded in the two stations respectively.
Results: Despite the different baselines of stair-use, the introduction of the health-sign in the first intervention phase resulted in a significant increase in all three settings: 10.0% increase in the mall, 8.6% in the first station, and 18.0% in the second station. In the second station, the increase during the second intervention exceeded that of the first intervention. Moreover, in this station stair-use in the second post-intervention phase was significantly higher than at baseline.
Conclusions: An inexpensive health-promoting sign has a substantial effect on the proportion of stair-users among shoppers and commuters. Preliminary evidence was found that repeated exposure to a health-sign might have a longer-term effect on stair-use.