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A systematic approach to the development and evaluation of an intervention promoting stair use

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jean Adams, Professor Martin White


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Background and context: Regular activity is recognised to have powerful health maintaining and promoting effects but two thirds of adults in developed countries remain unhealthily sedentary. This research was undertaken as part of the Newcastle Healthy Medical School Project (NHMSP), a multi-dimensional health promotion initiative based in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Objective: To use a theoretically based, systematic approach to design and evaluate a stair promotion intervention in conjunction with the target group. Design and methods: A series of five small scale studies, using both quantitative and qualitative methods, was conducted to: choose an outcome measure, gather an evidence base, and design and evaluate a stair promotion intervention. Setting: One stair-lift complex in the medical school of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. Target group: All users of the stairs and lifts in the target setting, including students, staff and visitors. Results: A stair promotion intervention comprising four posters was designed and evaluated in conjunction with the target group. Stair use comprised 20.1 per cent of all upward journeys pre-intervention, 20.6 per cent at week one and 19.5 per cent at week four (p>0.05). Conclusion: No increase in stair use was measured in response to the intervention. This may be due to an inadequate measure of stair use, the possibility of stair distance thresholds, the targeting of a relatively active group or the unauthorised removal of many of the posters.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Adams JM, White M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Health Education Journal

Year: 2002

Volume: 61

Issue: 3

Pages: 272-286

Print publication date: 01/09/2002

ISSN (print): 0017-8969

ISSN (electronic): 1748-8176

Publisher: SAGE Journals


DOI: 10.1177/001789690206100308


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