Today European citizens in 17 countries will take the stairs instead of the elevator for the International Sport and Culture Association (ISCA) and its local partners’ first European No Elevators Day. The day will see participating organisations sealing off elevators in more than 180 public and private buildings in more than 50 cities as part of ISCA’s NowWeMOVE campaign promoting grassroots sport and physical activity.
All participants are invited to voluntarily close some of the elevators and/or escalators on their premises and to motivate their visitors to take the stairs. Highlighting the benefits of climbing the stairs on the No Elevators Day is expected to encourage more busy people to keep moving throughout the day. All activities under No Elevators Day title will be voluntary and will take into consideration the accessibility requirements for people with disabilities and medical conditions and will provide access to them and to those not willing to participate.
“Our objective is the European No Elevators Day to make people reconsider how important physical activity is for their health and wellbeing and how easy it is to include it in their daily routines,” says Laska Nenova, NowWeMOVE coordinator for Europe at ISCA. “Today we are able to enjoy a variety of technologies that save us a lot of time and effort. However, they have also caused the human body to become more sedentary and may not develop and function optimally as a result. As humans we are born movers who need frequent physical activity,” continues Laska Nenova.
People spend an estimated two-thirds of their lives at their workplace. In order to stay healthy, they need to find ways to incorporate physical activity into their workday.
The European No Elevators Day initiative has been supported by many universities, schools, sport federations, municipalities and ministries, as well as by non-governmental organisations and private companies in the participating 17 countries. The event will be promoted in Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and United Kingdom.
The activities related to No Elevators Day in Brussels will start a few days earlier at the European Parliament, where ISCA is organising an advocacy event dedicated to the importance of physical activity with several Members of the Parliament. The activations continue on 5 June when ISCA’s activists in the Belgian capital will have the opportunity to climb the stairs of the famous Atomium in Brussels to mark the European No Elevators Day. The initiative will also be supported by the Latvian Presidency secretariat in Brussels and in Riga, and also by the Belgian Ministry of Finance, Green 10 member organisation Transport and Environment and BASE Company, all based in Brussels.
European No Elevators Day is part of the NowWeMOVE campaign, supporting the European Week of Sport – #BeActive.