, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 257-261
Date: 27 May 2011

Specific Effects of a Calorie-Based Intervention on Stair Climbing in Overweight Commuters

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Abstract

Background

Point-of-choice prompts consistently increase stair climbing; a greater increase in overweight than normal weight individuals was reported in a multi-component worksite campaign.

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate effects of a multi-component campaign, on stair climbing, in a public access setting.

Methods

In an interrupted-time-series-design, baseline observations (2 weeks) preceded a 2-week point-of-choice prompt. An additional message, positioned at the top of the climb for a further 6-week period, summarised the calorific consequences of a single ascent. Inconspicuous observers recorded traveller's methods of ascent, coded by sex and weight status, twice a week between 08:00 and 09:59.

Results

At baseline, the overweight chose stairs less than normal weight individuals. The multi-component campaign targeting weight control reversed this bias, increasing stair climbing only in overweight individuals.

Conclusions

The specificity of the effect confirms the appeal of this lifestyle activity for the overweight. The discussion focuses on how intentions to control weight may be converted into behaviour.