Oral Health Group

Stairway to motivational heaven


May 16, 2010
by ken

The Tulip Stairs and lantern at the Queen's Ho...

Image via Wikipedia

No matter how expansive the dental service mix, there is a repetitive and procedural nature to the services performed daily in a dental office. As such, there is an almost endless need for motivation and empowerment.

Say you need to go from the ground floor of a building to the fourth
floor. Climbing stairs is obviously better for your health than standing
in an elevator. But how can we encourage more people to choose the
healthier option? A group of
researchers tested whether it was possible to motivate behavior using
signs.

As Scienceblogs
explains
,

Megan Grimstvedt and colleagues placed
signs near the elevators of 4 university buildings in San Antonio. The
sign said simply “Walking up stairs burns almost 5 times as many
calories as riding an elevator” and included an arrow directing people
to the nearest staircase, as well as a cartoon of the school mascot
walking up a flight of stairs.
Two of the buildings had very
visible staircases, while two of the buildings had staircases that were
relatively hidden. The buildings with hidden staircases had an
additional sign on the staircase door to tell people that the stairs
were accessible (e.g. no fire alarm would sound).

What happened?

  • Before the signs, only 13% of people took the hidden staircases.
    After the signs, 25% did.
  • Before the signs, 43% of people used the visible staircases. After
    the signs, nearly 60% used them.
  • Overall, the signs increased staircase use 34%. What’s more, the
    increase persisted four weeks after the researchers removed the signs.

No carrots or sticks here,folks. Just information — which gave
people feedback on their behavior and linked simple actions to a larger
purpose. It’s Motivation 3.0 . . . with signs.  I’m in nerdvana.

Look for Daniel H. Pink – Drive:  The surprising truth about what motivates us….

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