Oh, how I wish we had one of these around here! A piano staircase was installed in Odenplan plaza in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2009 as part of a competition to encourage healthy choices by making them more fun. 66% more people took the stairs instead of the escalator! Watch it in action:
Reminds me of the floor keyboard in the movie Big! That looked like a lot of fun, too. Similar efforts have taken place in other locations. For example, stairs at the Southern Cross Station in Melbourne, Australia, were decorated like a spring garden scene during the winter in 2014. It’s all about making healthy choices more fun. Not a new idea, but one worth keeping in mind–and not just for kids!
There are articles to back up the importance of fun, e.g., “Encouraging wellness for fun & profit” (Occupational Health & Safety, 2011, vol.80:no.1, p.21), “The role of exergaming in improving physical activity: A review” (Journal of Physical Activity & Health, 2014, vol.11:no.4, pp.864-870), “Motivators of and barriers to engaging in physical activity: Perspectives of low-income culturally diverse adolescents and adults” (American Journal of Health Education, 2009, vol.40:no.3, pp.146-154), “Wellness partners: Design and evaluation of a web-based physical activity diary with social gaming features for adults” (JMIR research protocols, 2013, vol.2:no.1, pp.e10), and “Attitudes of postmenopausal women toward interactive video dance for exercise” (Journal of Women’s Health, 2009, vol.18:no.8, pp.1239-1243). But hey, Richard Simmons already knew exercise needed to be fun, didn’t he, when he produced dance exercise videos like the Sweatin’ to the Oldies series?