Healthy Bears Take the Stairs

Project Lead: Isabelle Thibau

Sponsor: UC Berkeley, School of Public Health (SPH)

TGIF Grant: $9,739

Project Theme: Education and Behavioral Change

Project Location: University Hall

2015 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: Healthy Bears Take the Stairs is a health and sustainability campaign in University Hall (U-Hall) that aims to reduce electricity consumption by promoting taking the stairs instead of elevators, and to increase physical activity among those who work and study in U-Hall by making the experience of taking the stairs more appealing, while simultaneously engaging the wider university community in healthy behavior. The project has 4 components: Enhance the environmental design by creating a mural in the north stairwell, improve directional and motivational signage to increase stair usage, energize and increase mood by using “blue” wavelength energy-efficient lights, and change wording in the fire safety warning on the stairs which is a barrier to opening stair doors.

Goals: The ultimate goals are to reduce energy consumption and promote healthy workplaces across the UC Berkeley campus. The specific goals of the project are to increase stair traffic, reduce elevator usage by 50%, and increase satisfaction in the workplace by improving aesthetics of the stairs and creating a culture of stair-climbing.


The Bears Stairs Project sponsored by UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health is looking for creative artists who are interested in designing, preparing, and painting murals along the walls of the south stairwell in University Hall. Student artists will receive Independent Study Units if desired and will be expected to devote a minimum of 2-3 hours per week towards the development and completion of the Bear Stairs project. Selected artists will gain the unique opportunity of organizing and creating a mural that will positively impact the health and daily activities of community members. Applications and proposals are due on February 12th, 2016 at 11:59 PM. Please contact Emily Gao (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information. 

Download the application here




Expected or Actual Completion Date

Contact EHS Fire Safety about damage status of upper-level stairs


Contact Campus Architect re: intent to start project and submit proposal


Project start - assemble Bear Stairs team and assign subcommittees


Distribute Call for Artists across campus


Deadline to collect artist applications for the stairwell mural


Begin monitoring stair usage from motion sensor and elevator data


Distibute pre-intervention survey


Selection committee selects lead artist from artwork proposals


Meet with artist team, commission a concept sketch


First installment of TGIF money needed


Assess stairwell state, purchase cleaning and repair materials


Begin stairwell cleaning and repair


Last installment of TGIF money needed


Purchase art supplies, begin stairwell sketching and painting


Purchase lights through U-Hall Facilities and install


Stairwell unveiling and media promotion of project


Distribute immediate post-intervention survey


Examine sensor, survey, and elevator usage data to evaluate the intervention


Submit preliminary report to TGIF


Distribute second post-intervention survey and perform follow-up evaluation


Submit final report to TGIF


Project completion


Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.