Mondays are The Best Time for Healthy Behavior
With the advent of business intelligence and data gathering there are a number of studies that display the ever changing patterns of our society. A study that was released in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine actually analyzed the online searches on Google that relate to the improvement of health.
The researchers that created this scenario are from the Sante Fe Institute, San Diego University and John Hopkins University. The purpose of the study was to find out the timing of healthy attitudes via the internet searches in the Unites States. The results of the study were interesting; they found that as an average, the searches were 30% higher in the beginning of the week (ie: Mondays) than later on in the week and the lowest number of average searches occurred on Saturdays.
The study was conducted from 2004 through 2012 with a consistent pattern, week after week and year over year, comparing the searches for healthy topics on a daily basis. John Ayers, of SDSU and lead author of the study stated "Many illnesses have a weekly clock with spikes early in the week. This research indicates that a similar rhythm exists for positive health behaviors, motivating a new research agenda to understand why this pattern exists and how such a pattern can be utilized to improve the public's health."
Joanna Cohen, professor at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-author of the study said "We could be seeing this effect because of the perception that Monday is a fresh start, akin to a mini New Year's Day. People tend to indulge in less healthy behaviors on the weekend, so Monday can serve as a 'health reset' to get back on track with their health regimens."
Benjamin Althouse, Sante Fe Institute Omidyar Fellow and study co-author stated "It's interesting to see such a consistent and similar rhythm emerging from search data. These consistent rhythms in healthy searches likely reflect something about our collective mindset, and understanding these rhythms could lead to insights about the nature of health behavior change."
The paper that was published on the study included the important aspect, "understanding circaseptan rhythms around health behaviors can yield critical public health gains. For instance, government-funded health promotion programs spend $76.2 billion annually and their cost-effectiveness can be improved by targeting the population on weekday(s) when more individuals are contemplating health habits."