|dc.description.abstract||There is an increase in the proportion of people engaged in sedentary careers, which
promotes a more inactive lifestyle. Promoting physical activity across Dalhousie campus is a
major part of the Healthy Dalhousieʼs program initiative. One of the suggested modes to
increase physical activity of staff and faculty at the workplace is to promote stair use. Our
research indicated that there are several health benefits associated with taking the stairs.
Ascending the stairs improved cardiovascular fitness, reduced cholesterol levels, decreased
body fat, and increased the strength of the lower limbs. These results support the idea of
promoting stair climbing to help increase the physical activity of staff, which will lead to an
overall increase in their health and well- being.
This study chose to focus on one building of particular interest regarding stair use: the
Tupper Building. Located on Carleton street, it is the tallest building on campus, standing 18
stories tall and housing the most staff and faculty. Promoting the use of stairs rather than the
elevators in the Tupper Building is an interest for Healthy Dalhousieʼs Program. The purpose of
this study was to identify physical, social, environmental, and behavioural barriers to stair use in
the Tupper Building so that active wellness programs can be created to address the barriers
and increase stair usage.
The results of the survey confirmed that most people do not take the stairs at work.
Over half of the respondents either take the stairs once a week or never, while at work. Upon
comparison of individual body mass index (BMI) to their usual mode of transportation a positive
correlation between elevator use and increasing BMI was observed. These findings indicate
that there is potential to increase the health of the faculty and staff at Dalhousie through
increasing their use of stairs at work.
Our recommendations for future buildings include: art in stairwells, improved
ventilation, improved cleanliness, and alternative door closing mechanisms. Placing art in the
stairwells would create a more interesting, engaging, and welcoming atmosphere and could be
a feasible option to implement not only in future buildings, but buildings that already exist. This
result is supported by previous studies, which have found that increased stair use can be
obtained with improved aesthetics.||en_US