The Polak building is a physical manifestation of M.C Escher’s Relativity, the famous drawing of different stairways leading to endless different places in a world where the normal rules of gravity don’t exist. The only difference between Escher’s stairs and the ones at Polak, other than that the laws of gravity apply here, is that people actually take the stairs in the drawing. The fact that the building’s elevators get the most exercise is ridiculous says the Erasmus Sustainability Hub, so they have organized a five-day staircase challenge to promote exercise in the Polak.

Throughout the week, the Sustainability Hub will be hosting competitions like staircase sprints and medicine ball lifts between students, faculty members and different associations. To kick off the challenge, Rector Magnificus Huib Pols led by example and marched up the stairs.

Rector in polakgebouw foto Engel
Rector magnificus Huibert Pols marcheert de trap op. Image credit: Shirin Engel-Erasmus Sustainability Hub

“As a part of the executive board, we encourage healthy living,” declared Rector Pols, who is a physician as well. “You work here, you study here, but you also need to do some exercise. Take the stairs, as I have done. It’s for the best, it’s for your health.”

A trip to the fifth floor burns a total of 25 calories. If that isn’t enough motivation to get you to climb the stairs, the Sustainability Hub is offering a variety of prizes from reusable water bottles to Erasmus Sport passes.