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Title: Are point-of-decision prompts in a sports science and medicine centre effective in changing the prevalence of stair usage? : a preliminary study
Authors: Pillay, Julian David 
Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy 
Achmat, Masturah 
Carstens, Madelaine 
Lambert, Estelle V. 
Issue Date: 2009
Journal: South African journal of sports medicine (1989) 
Objective. To determine the impact of a signed intervention on
promoting stair versus lift usage in a health and fitness facility.
Design. A 3-week observational study in which a simple timeseries
design of collecting data before, during and after the introduction
of an intervention was used.
Setting. The Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA):
a 5-storey building with a centrally located lift lobby and internal
Method. Observers were placed unobtrusively on the ground
floor, with good visibility of lift/stairwell, to observe ascending
movement of students, staff, tenants, visitors and patients
4 hours/day (07h00 - 09h00, 16h00 - 18h00), 4 days/week for
3 weeks. During week 2, motivational signs were displayed on
the wall next to the lift and stairs and on the floor leading to the
stairwell. In week 3, signage was removed. Factors considered
in predicting stair use were gender, phase of intervention, and
whether persons were staff/students or visitors.
Results. A total of 4 256 person-counts were recorded. Prevalence
of stair use increased from 43% before the intervention to 53% during the intervention to 50% after the intervention.
Odds of using the stairs during the intervention increased by
45% (odds ratio (OR) 1.45, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25
- 1.68) (p<0.00001), were 41% higher for staff/students compared
with visitors (p<0.00001) and were 55% greater for women
(p<0.00001). These effects did not change significantly after the
intervention and stair use remained modestly higher than before
the intervention.
Conclusion. Signed intervention produced significant increases
in stair usage during and after the intervention. These findings
support the effectiveness of point-of-decision prompts for changing
behaviour, and highlight potential factors influencing the impact
of such messages.
Originally published in: South African Journal of Sports Medicine, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2009.
ISSN: 1015-5163
DOI: 10.17159/2078-516X/2009/v21i2a299
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Health Sciences)

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