It’s tough to get people to make healthier decisions about the way they live their lives. Public health officials have tried for decades to stem the obesity epidemic by getting people to exercise more, but all their tactics–lecturing, scolding, scaring, informing, inspiring, empowering–have had very little effect.
But at a subway station in Stockholm, a band of inventive social engineers had amazing results when they decided to get commuters off the escalators and onto the stairs. They asked themselves, “Can we get more people to choose the stairs by making it fun to do?” And then they turned the staircase into a piano keyboard, complete with black and white keys.
The project was part of a larger initiative sponsored by Volkswagen called “The Fun Theory,” which aims to prove that people will change their behavior for the better if you let them have a little fun in the bargain. Have you pulled off a similar trick? Tell Volkswagen about it and you can win more than $4,000.
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