Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Fatal Flaw In Logic

The medical profession is in a constant nagging mode to get people to exercise more. We rattle off the statistics about longer lifespans and better self esteem in people who exercise regularly in a quixotic attempt to get people off their butts. So in that spirit of exertional encouragement our hospital has decided to paint motivational sayings into the only place on the premises where people can routinely get their daily exercise, the emergency stairwell.

As you can see from these pithy quotations, they all extoll the virtues of a vigorous body, which in theory should lead to an equally vigorous and astute mind. You would think that daily words of encouragement would get more people to exercise and climb the stairs, right? Unfortunately, the hospital's HR Department has its heart in the right place but the execution has failed miserably.

It's pretty obvious the fatal flaw in logic when somebody approved the laborious task of stenciling in these sayings against the front of the stairs. The people who need to exercise the most are not the ones who walk the steps every day. They are the people least likely to see these inspirational words. I personally try to take the stairs when I don't have to go higher than three floors but I know some people who have offices on the top floor who climb all the way to the top every day. We don't need any extra support to get ourselves to exercise.

Unfortunately there are people who will wait for an elevator for five minutes just because they don't want to walk up even one flight of stairs. These are the employees who usually have a little too much junk in the trunk but can't or won't put in the effort to walk up the stairs. I look at them and  wonder why they don't bother to just walk a little further to the stairwell, which in our facility is right next to the elevators and get a little blood pumping. If they do that every workday for a year they could burn off thousands of calories. The worst offenders are the people who will wait for an elevator so they can go DOWN one flight of stairs. That just annoys the heck out of me.

So if your hospital is trying to get its employees to exercise more, by all means encourage them to take the stairs. Just try to put the motivational speeches OUTSIDE the stairs where it will do the most good, not inside.

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