Pacman is Eating Your Calories

by melissa ostroff

A new public space installation was recently placed at the Brickell Metrorail station in downtown Miami, and features a Pacman mural on the stairs that lead up to the trains. While the stairs are a fun, artistic addition to the station, they also promote an informative and inspiring message about incorporating small changes in daily life to facilitate increased physical activity. 

Every other step has the number of calories burned while climbing the stairs. By the time the pedestrian reaches the top, they will see that they burned 2.60 calories. Although this doesn’t seem like a lot, if a commuter uses the stairs twice per day everyday for a year, they will burn an extra 730 calories a year. This, along with other numerous small tweaks in one’s daily life can make a huge difference in overall health and wellness. 

  These artful stairs help you understand the value of opting out of the elevator!

These artful stairs help you understand the value of opting out of the elevator!

The mastermind behind this idea is the Active Living Team (A.L.T.), which is a non-profit company that aims to generate increased public consciousness about health and wellness. Their goal for this installation was to encourage people to notice and use the stairs, rather than more sedentary options such as the escalator or elevator. By putting the number of calories burned from walking up the stairs, it proves that even small changes in one’s lifestyle can contribute to an overall healthier life. 

This idea was chosen and funded by the Public Space Challenge, a part of the Miami Foundation.  They select and fund various ideas that all aim to improve public spaces through channels such as art, music and nature.  So far, the public stair activation project has been successful. The security guards at the Brickell station explained that people often noticed and showed interest in the mural and that people appeared to be happy when they reached the top and saw that they had burned calories.  

Learn more abut other Public Space Challenges and this one by visiting the Miami Foundation's Website dedicated to a list of the finalists