Taking the path less traveled

Adding art doubled the number of employees who take the stairs at St. Joseph’s Hospital

Art in Stairwell at St. Joseph

Imagine strolling along the Great Wall of China, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, or trekking the Inca Trail that leads to Machu Picchu. You can do that at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul.  

Thanks to employees who volunteer as “well-being champions,” large murals of these exotic locations can now be found in the main stairwell.  

“My team was looking for a fun, innovative way for employees to increase their activity,” says Amanda Knutson, Fairview’s Manager of Community Health and Innovation. “That’s when we thought of the idea of adding artwork to the stairwell.”

The number of employees taking the stairs instead of the elevator has almost doubled since.

“I rarely took the stairs, but now that we have something nice to look at, I really enjoy it,” says Maribeth Graves, lead chaplain at St. Joseph’s. “It’s now part of my daily routine.”

On average, climbing just two flights of stairs a day can help you lose six pounds over a year.

“Increasing your health and wellness is about the little things,” Amanda says. “And taking the stairs is a great place to start.”

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