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Take the Stairs: Pilot Program Encourages Employees to Skip Elevators

In 2013, the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) launched the Take the Stairs campaign, which encourages hospital employees to choose the stairs over the elevator in an effort to improve employee health and lessen elevator wait times.

Take the Stairs began as a joint effort between the hospital’s administration and marketing department, and together, the departments created signage to display in stairwells and elevator banks. University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) facilities staff painted stairs, walls, and railings in preparation for the campaign’s launch, and plans are in the works to upgrade stairwell lighting to LED lights to create a more inviting environment for staff.

A top 10 list on UI Health’s website, which serves as the main communication vehicle for news about the program, lists the largely health-related benefits of choosing the stairs:

  1. It’s a free workout.
  2. Improves your heart health.
  3. It can be faster than taking the elevator.
  4. You burn five times more calories than taking the elevator.
  5. It’s good for your legs.
  6. Helps you to breathe better.
  7. Relieves stress and tension.
  8. Climbing the stairs helps you to live longer.
  9. Increases your level of confidence.
  10. Helps you to build and maintain healthy bones and muscles.

UI Health also offers reduced membership at the University of Illinois at Chicago fitness center and recently doubled the number of bike racks available on campus to encourage employees to bike to work.

For more information about UI Health’s Take the Stairs program, contact:

David Miller
Associate Hospital Director
University of Illinois Health Hospital & Health Sciences System


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