Carilion Clinic wants its employees and visitors to step up their exercise regimen by taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
This week, the heath care system launched Stairwellness, adding splashes of bright color and health information about the benefits of stair climbing to the south tower stairwell at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
The idea was to do something that would be “motivating and encouraging and just a little bit of fun” to encourage people to use the stairs more often, Carilion President and CEO Nancy Agee said.
Whether people go just a floor or two or up 14 stories, they will be met with painted blocks on the walls with messages such as “There’s a reason why a piece of exercise equipment was designed after stairs.”
While hospital visitors are encouraged to take the steps whenever possible, one of the program’s key goals is to keep Carilion employees healthy so they can better care for their patients.
“Our employees are our patients too,” employee wellness consultant Michele Hamilton, credited by Agee for coming up with the idea, said in a news release. “We are cultivating an environment that supports healthy decision-making.”
Carilion plans to extend the Stairwellness program to its community hospitals in the coming months.