Piano Stairs Play Soothing Sounds in Nanjing's Subway

A little traveling music, maestro? Not you, Toscanini, the thousands of commuters who take the Nanjing Metro subway every day.

The innovative “piano stairs” installed at a station along Nanjing Metro's Subway Line 2 don't just look like an inclined version of the iconic keyboard from the movie Big, they sound like it too!

So-called “piano stairs” have been a hit in cities worldwide, from Milan, Italy to Santiago, Chile and more.

Studies have shown that when faced with the choice between climbing stairs or riding the escalator, subway commuters choose to take the stairs 66 percent more often if they're piano stairs.

Anything that encourages the public to increase their general level of physical fitness can't be a bad thing, and authorities in China may be concerned that the country's upwardly mobile society may be... well, not quite mobile enough.

Though one can guess that the cost of installing a set of piano stairs will eventually be repaid by future savings on health care, some are concerned the concept is just a gimmick people will soon tire of. Perhaps the solution is to have the escalators play sounds too... annoying ones. (via People's Daily Online and China Daily)