It is common advice now that an easy way to get more exercise is to take the stairs rather than an escalator, but the vision of trudging up or down a set of stairs can be daunting, especially with a tempting escalator nearby.
So, how do you help people make a good change in their routine? You make it fun. This is an idea the Volkswagen company has been working on for years. The company decided to apply it to the question of how to get people to take the stairs more often.
The car manufacturer has a program called “fun theory” in which employees explore ways to make good habits fun as a way to encourage people to do them. The employees saw a set of stairs and were inspired with a brilliant idea to make them look more fun.
The company decided to apply its fun theory plan in a busy public transportation passageway in Stockholm, Sweden. Thousands of commuters go through the Odenplan station area every day and have a clear choice between an average set of stairs or an escalator. In order to make the stairs more fun, the idea was to make them into piano keys.
People set about transforming the steps late one evening, covering the wide concrete stairs with white panels and then adding black panels to selected steps, creating piano keys from each step. When the transformation was complete, an oversized piano was ready to be played.
The next morning, commuters were greeted with the choice of either taking the regular escalator or walking up and down on the giant piano, and the choice was overwhelmingly for the piano! As you’ll see in the video, people even tried playing a tune as they hopped up and down the stairs, getting their exercise without even thinking about it.
Watch the video below to see just how much fun people had on this amazing set of piano stairs.