With over half of all Israelis overweight or obese, The Israel Forum for a Healthy Lifestyle has “borrowed” a German idea that, with the right paint, makes stairs look like the piano keys that actors Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia jumped on to play “Chopsticks” in the 1988 film "Big."
And, just like in the film, the stairs resembling piano keys also produce different notes when stepped on, encouraging those who might normally choose an escalator or elevator to invoke some good old fashioned aerobic activity while having some fun at the same time.
The three-dimensional paintings have been placed at the foot of staircases between the Tel Aviv railway station and the Azrieli shopping center for the next two weeks and, thanks to hidden cameras located near the stairs before they are painted, the Forum will be able to gauge the success – or failure – of the experiment.
In Germany, the exercise was a resounding success with more than 60% of pedestrians using escalators before the paint job, but many choosing to huff and puff up the piano stairs when they became available.
After the two weeks of the experiment are up, the annual race up the stairs in one of the three Azrieli towers will be held in honor of its 10th anniversary.
“Too many park close to their destination or use the elevator so they don’t have to walk,” said Forum Chair Nir Laor, who said he hoped the painted stairs would send out a strong message to the public that physical activity is essential to good health.
Reprinted with permission from Shalom Life