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The Take the Stairs - Every Step Counts! Campaign is based on a simple idea. Instead of taking the elevator or escalator, try taking the stairs. We often overlook this easy (and free) way to incorporate physical activity into our lives.

Why implement a stairwell campaign at your workplace?

Take the Stairs logo
We know that regular physical activity is an important part of enjoying a healthy lifestyle. But it’s frequently hard to be physically active when our lives are so busy. For many of us, our natural reaction is to press the elevator button. But, just as we are thinking differently about the food we eat and changing our habits, taking the stairs should be a part of our everyday routine. Short intervals of physical activity - broken into 10 minute periods throughout the day – can contribute significantly to one’s overall fitness and health.

Participating in the Take the Stairs campaign is a fun, easy way to invest in and promote the health of your employees. Research shows that a healthier workforce benefits both the employer and employees by:

  • Enhancing employee relations and morale
  • Reducing absenteeism
  • Better retention of healthy employees
  • Lowering health care costs

A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found an increase in stair use when signage was displayed at the decision point between the stairs and the escalator or elevator. The study also said that stairwell use is a lifestyle choice that helps increase overall physical activity.

If businesses encourage taking the stairs at work, employees may adopt this behavior more generally, choosing to use the stairs in other environments. Posting Take the Stairs signage may also increase awareness about the overall benefits of physical activity

“Our staff got motivated by…the message that taking the stairs is healthy for you.  We have some walking groups and actually have had a walking meeting.  It just spurs ideas.”  John Hirliman, YMCA of Greater Boston

How it works?
Take the Stairs - Every Step Counts! campaign is free and easy to implement. We will provide your business with a variety of informative, upbeat signage along with plexiglass wall holders to post near elevators and escalators to prompt users to choose to use the stairwell.

The signs use creative messages designed to influence one’s decision about whether or not to take the stairs:

  • “No waiting…One door over!"
  • "Walking up stairs burns 3 times more calories than riding the elevator!"
  • “No time to exercise today? Your opportunity is now!"

Plus seven other messages available in a ten-sign packet. Fifteen additional messages are available electronically for easy printing.

We also have two new ‘special edition’ signs that we can send to you for printing:

  • “Eh,... Has pensado en las escaleras?”
  • “Save Energy… Burn Calories” – our special Green Edition sign

More than 60 Boston businesses and organization have already pledged to Take the Stairs by posting this “point of decision" signage next to elevators and escalators.

 “The Take the Stairs campaign has been a wonderful way to get exercise during the workday. The signs have been gentle reminders and have helped employees to think twice before entering the elevators, especially when the stairs are right there. Several employees have reported that since the campaign started, they only take the stairs at work. What a gentle way to exercise. Small steps do make a big difference”  Jeanne E. Richardson, Boston Water and Sewer Commission

Who is participating in Take the Stairs?

The 2008 campaign kick-off with Mayor Thomas M. Menino and New Balance CEO Jim Davis was held at New Balance headquarters in Brighton.  Since then, more than 60 Boston businesses and organization have pledged to Take the Stairs by posting “point of decision" signage next to elevators and escalators. 

Participating employers include large corporations, hospitals, universities, city agencies, universities, health care organizations, fitness centers, and small community agencies. 

“We have the [Take the Stairs] signs up all over our Shaw's Corporate Office… they're definitely causing discussion and causing people to think about getting more activity.” Jennifer Shea, Shaw’s Supermarkets 

Ready to take action?
Download the registration form (MS Word | PDF​), complete and email or fax back to us. We’ll work with you to help you implement this easy and fun program.

For questions and information contact: Naida Faria at 617-534-2454​

For more ideas to encourage stair use at your workplace, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s StairWELL to Better Health​ page. This toolkit includes recommendations to improve stairwell appearance, install music, and even fun challenge ideas for your employees.

Boston Public Health Commission
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02118.
Phone:(617) 534-5395 Email: