Review Article: Increasing physical activity with point-of-choice prompts--a systematic review

Scand J Public Health. 2010 Aug;38(6):633-8. doi: 10.1177/1403494810375865. Epub 2010 Jul 2.


Aims: Stair climbing is an activity that can easily be integrated into everyday life and has positive health effects. Point-of-choice prompts are informational or motivational signs near stairs and elevators/escalators aimed at increased stair climbing. The aim of this review was to assess the effectiveness of point-of-choice prompts for the promotion of stair climbing.

Methods: In a systematic search of the literature, studies that assessed the effectiveness of point-of-choice prompts to increase the rate of stair climbing in the general population were identified. No restrictions were made regarding the setting, the duration of the intervention, or the kind of message.

Results: A total of 25 studies were identified. Point-of-choice prompts were predominantly posters or stair-riser banners in public traffic stations, shopping malls or office buildings. The 25 studies reported 42 results. Of 10 results for elevator settings, only three reported a significant increase in stair climbing, whereas 28 of 32 results for escalator settings reported a significant increase in stair climbing.

Conclusions: Overall, point-of-choice prompts are able to increase the rate of stair climbing, especially in escalator settings. In elevator settings, point-of-choice prompts seem less effective. The long-term efficacy and the most efficient message format have yet to be determined in methodologically rigorous studies.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Elevators and Escalators
  • Exercise* / physiology
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education* / methods
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Social Marketing
  • Walking* / physiology