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London begins labeling the physical world with calorie loss indicators

Work & Lifestyle

StepJockey is a project that raises awareness of the benefits of taking the stairs through smart labels that detail how many calories can be lost by climbing them.

Some people are fitness freaks and some are couch potatoes, but it actually doesn’t require rigorous exercise to stay in good shape. We previously wrote about Coca-Cola’s Work It Out Calculator — which details the small tasks that cancel out the calories in its products — and now the UK’s StepJockey is a project that raises awareness of the health benefits of actions such as taking the stairs, through smart labels that detail how many calories can be lost by climbing them.

Funded by the UK Department of Health, the startup believes that walking up and down stairs, rather than taking an elevator or escalator, can improve cardiovascular fitness and even help people lose weight. StepJockey’s research suggests that stair climbing burns more calories per minute than jogging and even walking down them is more healthy.

The team is currently crowdsourcing data about the country’s stairs, encouraging fans to type in the location of the office building or public staircase they want to measure and count how many steps there are. The site — or free iPhone app for smartphone users — then calculates how many calories are burned by using them. Users can then print off or order posters to hang next to the stairs, giving passersby that extra bit of encouragement to avoid the easy way up. Each poster features a QR code and NFC tag, enabling those with smartphones to log, track and share their calorie burning with friends.

According to StepJockey, the signs were developed using the principles of behavioral science, and tests proved that the nudge to take the stairs improved usage by up to 29 percent in some cases. Are there other aspects of the real world that can be improved with the addition of similar labels, offering useful data and digital interaction?

Spotted by Murray Orange, written by Springwise

Website: www.stepjockey.com

Contact: www.stepjockey.com/contact-us

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