Take the stairs for workplace wellness

If you’re interested in starting a workplace wellness program, or looking for new ways to encourage employees to be active during the work day, consider launching a “take the stairs” initiative.

Employees take the stairs instead of the elevator

Why take the stairs?

Walking more, in general, is one of the easiest ways to increase physical activity. It is low impact with significant rewards:

  • Reduces risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • Improves blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and blood lipid profile
  • Maintains body weight and lowers risk of obesity

Taking the stairs, more specifically, is an effective short burst of activity that increases heart and lung capacity—and burns more calories per minute than walking or jogging!

Choosing the stairs over the elevator is easy to incorporate into a daily routine, so the likelihood of employees keeping it up as part of their personal wellness efforts is high. Some might even “gain time” in the day if they can climb to their destination in less time than it takes to call the elevator, wait, and ride it.

How to encourage use of stairs

A few simple strategies can motivate your worksite’s employees and guests to choose the stairs.

Hang signs

  • Be sure employees and visitors can easily locate stairwells. Directional signs or even footprints painted or glued to floors help.
  • Motivational messages inspire a conscious, healthy choice. Try health-specific motivation as well as more creative approaches like song lyrics.

Make stairwells appealing

  • Add track, incandescent, or halogen lights to brighten stairwells.
  • Paint walls bright, energetic colors.
  • Hang artwork created by employees or children from a nearby school. Or frame and hang cartoons.
  • Install speakers and play music. Choose a genre that complements your company image or mix it up for variety.
  • Consider themed stairwells with a desirable destination, so employees are incrementally nearing a Hawaiian beach or the summit of Mount Everest, for example.

If you’re interested in more tips and tools to encourage the use of stairs, download the StairWELL toolkit by Let’s Go! from our Resource Hub.

You might also like:

More Workplace Wellness Ideas

A stairwell initiative is one way your company might encourage physical activity at work. Get more ideas for increasing healthy eating, encouraging physical activity, and promoting healthy habits in our guide, 3 Steps to a Healthy Workplace.

3 Steps to a Healthy Workplace - Download the Guide