Sticky Change Examples 1: Stairs Versus Escalator

How do you encourage people to take the stairs and gain some exercise when they would rather take the escalator?

You could try talking to them and telling them all of the rational and logical arguments for why they need to exercise and more their bodies more.

But that’s not likely to work – climbing stairs (like all exercise) takes effort. Taking the easier option is something most of us would take.

Next, for many of us, would be to try an emotive call to action. Perhaps something like, ‘If you take the stairs today it might make you live longer and let you watch your grandchildren grow up into adulthood.’

Again, that could work, but human beings are not very good at trading out an immediate gain (ease and comfort of the escalator) versus some abstract future possibility that can’t be guaranteed anyway.

A third approach is what is in the video here. You can design the environment to make the choice between the stairs and the escalator more appealing.

And the appeal in this example from Stockholm is to make taking the stairs more fun. By transforming the boring and static stairs into an interactive people-sized piano keyboard, complete with sounds, we now have something that we probably all want to try.

It could even become a new sport or musical competition – Musical Stairs. I can see it at the Olympics!

Having just released the latest Book Rapper issue Sticky Change: Make Change Happen Quickly Smoothly Easily, here’s a series of real-world examples of changing behaviour.

Derived from: Chip and Dan Heath, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

Thanks to Lucy Dodd for suggesting this one!

If you’ve got an example you’d like to share, post a comment below and we may feature it in a future post.

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