New signs have been put up in the MediaCityUK multi-storey car park telling commuters, shoppers and visitors to “take the stairs”.
StepJockey is the organisation behind the smart signs, who create them to work with their app, which enables people to sync their phones to the particular set of stairs they are using, and keep track of their walking, and the number of calories they have burnt.
Seth Valchev, digital marketing executive at StepJockey, says: “The signs and app work hand-in-hand. They’ve helped thousands of people ditch the lift, and take the stairs.
“I feel like we’ve helped people move from sedentary levels to more active lifestlyes, and we’re very proud of that.”
The 26-year-old adds: “The StepJockey signs make offices more active, engaged, and productive as well”.
The company’s smart signs are said to motivate people, and increase stair use by at least 20 per cent.
StepJockey stress that stair climbing burns seven times more calories than taking a lift and burns more calories than jogging.
They go by research that shows that seven minutes’ stair climbing a day can half the risk of suffering a heart attack over 10 years.
The company’s signs have labelled more than 13,000 staircases in over 100 countries.
BBC buildings in the area have been prompting their employees to take the stairs for a while, using the same signs as the car park has introduced.
Personal trainer, Dan Christopherson, runs an outside fitness group twice a week for between eight and 15 people who work in the area.
He explains why MediaCityUK is so good for fitness training: “I guess there’s just loads of outdoor space and lots of workers, so there’s lots of scope for people getting fit, and getting moving.
“The worst thing you can do is sit at a desk chair for a long period of time. So, obviously people working through an eight-hour day, it’s good to get moving, get mobilised, and get some muscles working”.
Two young adults, Katie Burns and Philippa Moore, take part in roller derby, and use the space provided in the area to practise their roller-skating because of its flat, smooth and newly paved terrain.
Miss Moore, 20, is a student at The University of Manchester, and says: “During exam season, you spend so much time cooped up in your room, or in the library, and it gets quite depressing being away from all the natural light and just focusing on your books.
“I find that if I don’t make the time to go out and do exercise, I basically just go crazy during exam times, and it really kind of gets to your mood.”
Miss Burns adds: “Already from this morning, I can feel my mood is a lot better, just from being in the sun for an hour, and doing a bit of exercise.”
In fact, last year, a study found that Manchester has some of the highest proportions of fitness facilities in the country, and some of the facilities included are based at MediaCityUK.
Last year, a Park & Ride service was introduced on the A580 for commuters travelling from the Leigh area to Manchester city centre.
This service allows free parking for all bus users, taking either the V1 or the V2, which are both First Vantage buses, and cost as little as £4.20 for an all-day bus ticket.
Salford greenspaces, such as Albert Park, have also had the addition of outdoor gym equipment in the last few years, to try and get local residents active.
People who travel to MediaCityUK already seem the active type, and so StepJockey’s signs are a perfect fit in the area, to encourage more fitness among its commuters.