Encouraging stair use may increase physical activity among college students. The overall goals of this study were to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate a stair use initiative, which included a mural painting contest in a residential hall. The number of individuals exiting the stairs were counted and interview data were obtained regarding the visibility of the signs and murals and whether the signs or murals influenced stair use. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with the community assistants (CAs) and staff members involved with the project to obtain qualitative data on their perceptions and opinions of the mural painting event. It was hypothesized that the average number of individuals per half hour who used the stairs would significantly increase from baseline to post-test. To examine changes over time in individuals exiting the stairs, a quasi-experimental design was used with one baseline measurement and multiple posttests (n=5). Stair use was determined by counting individuals exiting the stairwells. Time differences in exiting stair use were examined with repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Descriptive statistics and t-tests were used to analyze interview data. Qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach. There was a significant time effect on stair use (F=7.512, p =0.000) and a significant interaction between staircase and time (F=7.518, p=0.000). There was no significant interaction of gender over time (F=.037, p=0.997). A repeated measures ANOVA was conducted on each staircase individually and showed that significant time differences were only found in the Southwest staircase. Based on exit interviews (n=28), most students saw the directional signs (61%) and murals (89.3%). However, neither the signs (71.4%) nor the murals (82.1%) were perceived as influential on stair use. Data from the focus groups and interviews revealed that the mural painting contest did not occur as intended, because the contest piece did not take place. In conclusion, solely having residents of a residential hall paint murals in stairwells was insufficient for increasing stair use. A mural painting contest may be a viable approach if properly planned and implemented.
- Evaluation of Taylor Place Fit's motivational signage and mural painting to determine the influence on stair use