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News update: Detailed trial at Wellcome Trust shows 97% increase in stair use

One of the world’s largest charitable health foundations, The Wellcome Trust, has joined forces with StepJockey to encourage staff in its London headquarters to stay active with powerful results.

Before launching the initiative at The Wellcome Trust, infrared people counters were intalled across the building to accurately measure changes in stair usage. Following the launch of the StepJockey smart signage across the building stair used instantly jumped by 77%. This was further enhanced following the launch of their first StepJockey Stair Climbing Challenge which detailed analysis showed to increase stair usage by 97%.

The results at the Wellcome Trust mirror those in the robust evidence base for stair prompts from around the world. The first published studies in the UK looking at stair prompts were conducted by Dr Frank Eves a public health psychologist at the University of Birmingham. Of 41 trials his team has tracked, 37 have been successful in increasing stair use.

Individual trials are a powerful form of evidence but systematic reviews, that analyse trial results together, are the gold standard. The first systematic review of stair prompts was conducted by the US Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) in 2000 and updated in 2010.

Published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it showed point of decision prompts increased stair use by a median relative increase of 50% and that a wide variety of population subgroups were engaged, including men and women, younger, older, obese and non-obese.

Following the detailed trial, The Wellcome Trust are preparing to launch their second StepJockey challenge in early 2017 to motivate even more employees to stay active at work.

StepJockey’s award winning behavioral change programme provides a simple and evidence based mechanism for making multi-storey offices more active and productive. It’s unique system does so by integrating unique smart signs within a building and incentivising stair use amongst employees using a powerful gamification platform.

The Wellcome Trust is a biomedical research charity based in London, United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health. The aim of the Trust is to "achieve extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds". In addition to funding biomedical research it supports the public understanding of science. It has an endowment of around £18 billion.

The Trust has been described by the Financial Times as the United Kingdom's largest provider of non-governmental funding for scientific research and one of the largest providers in the world. In the field of medical research, it is the world's second-largest private funder after the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Download the study results