The purpose of the program plan was to implement a 6-week environmental interactive intervention on the staircase of an employee worksite and evaluate whether it motivated workers to increase stair usage.
The setting was two different employee work sites each equipped with stairs and an elevator. The target audience included an intervention site with 140 employees and a comparison site with 140 employees who worked there daily. Each site had a 3 story staircase located adjacent to an elevator allowing the employees to have an easy choice on which use.
The intervention included 3 keys elements that were used to promote stair usage:
1. Point-of-decision signs placed at the elevators to encourage stair use. An example sign read, “Walking up the stairs burns almost five times more calories than riding an elevator” (Swenson & Siegel, 2013).
2. The stairwell environment was altered to become more aesthetically pleasing.
3. Using the stairs included a built-in interactive component
On the staircase were placed visually appealing paintings and interactive wall art. The interactive component was key to the implementation of the program as it increased the likelihood that people would return to the stairs to see the progress of the art. It was proposed that engaging workers in the decorative artwork by allowing them to incorporate their own thoughts into the painting would further increase use of the stairs. A large world map in which people could mark where they were born, where they had visited, and where they wanted to go was placed on the landing between the first and second floors. Storyboards were used to engage workers at creating their own stories placed by answering the phrase,” someday I want to ____” where people could fill in the blanks with their own aspirations (Swenson & Siegel, 2013). The paintings and interactive artwork was present for the entire six-week intervention. It is important to note that the program did not stress any of the health benefits of taking the stairs.
Electronic devices measured daily stair and elevator usage 2 weeks prior to the intervention and 6 weeks after. Daily counts of the stair usage were modeled using a Poisson regression to analyze effect of the intervention on staircase use.
The planning models used were the environmental change strategy and the reactance theory. The environmental aspect of the study was well done as the stairs were viewed as unappealing, creating a barrier to usage. The changes implemented made them aesthetically more pleasing to the employees. Additionally, people often don’t exercise because the environment doesn’t support or provide easy access to a facility. The stair alteration provided a healthy alternative that was easily accessible.
Reactance theory suggests that psychological reactance occurs in relation to reduction of person’s loss of freedom and independence (Darity, 2008). Psychological reactance can occur when people perceive a negative judgment of...