In celebration of the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, subway riders were given an alternative opportunity to get a subway pass. If an individual could do 30 squats in 2 minutes, they were rewarded a subway card with one free fare.
The ticket dispenser uses a motion sensor to read each repetition as the rider shows their physical ability to complete a series of squats. This could be an excellent innovation for many countries whose populations suffer from obesity. With incentives to take public transportation, and even more so, to demonstrate a physical achievement could be the first step in changing the way that average person participates in a physical activity. Small changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking on the further side of the parking lot, or deciding to set minimum daily efforts for physical activity is the small impetus that can lead to a modern day health and fitness paradigm shift. Many cities across the United States have begun using bicycle share services, more walkways and bike paths, as well as more convenient public transportation that can encourage people to move more and sit less. Maybe squats for transportation fares will catch on in more places!