Obesity stats and increasingly sedentary lifestyles are plaguing our systems. We complain about never having time to work out, or to cook healthy food. We resort to complex solutions while the answers to a healthy lifestyle are often around the corner.

Think of this simple solution as a daily exercise: committing to the stairs.

While we set policies for more complex public health issues, like indoor smoking bans and hydrogenated fat levels in fried food, it’s interesting that we still don’t have a policy that calls to charge people on taking the elevators.

Voices against such a policy could be raised regarding how many levels can a person endure to escalate,  especially in big cities’ skyscrapers, or how would seniors and disabled be able to commit to the stairs. Here are some implementation steps, and a few considerations and twists to consider while drafting such a public regulation:

– First, machines that accept either money or credit cards can get mounted inside elevators.  City issued cards would also be accepted, just like  monthly subway memberships or bus rides.

– Disabled and senior citizens receive a free pass for all buildings and malls so they can take the elevators for free, just like the parking lot pass and other facilitating services they usually receive (at least in the US).

– When buildings are too tall, the cost of riding their elevators could be made cheaper, or made free until a certain level, above which continuing the ride would be paid. There are many twists around this version that can be adapted in this case.

– If people are carrying items that can’t be transported using the stairs, it’s possible to have a code scanner on the same mounted machine so that the items’ code get passed through and identified. In that case the ride would be for free.

Many ways, many possibilities could make this policy highly applicable.
Just imagine what impact this would have on our fitness, as we go up and down the stairs every day.