Navigation Links
New research shows people are thinking about their health early in the week

San Diego, Calif. (April 18, 2014) ― A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine analyzing weekly patterns in health-related Google searches reveals a recurring pattern that could be leveraged to improve public health strategies.

Investigators from San Diego State University, the Santa Fe Institute, Johns Hopkins University, and the Monday Campaigns, analyzed "healthy" Google searches (searches that included the term healthy and were indeed health-related, e.g., "healthy diet") originating in the U.S. from 2005 to 2012. They found that on average, searches for health topics were 30 percent more frequent at the beginning of the week than on days later in the week, with the lowest average number of searches on Saturday.

This pattern was consistent year after year, week after week, using a daily measure to represent the proportion of healthy searches to the total number of searches each day.

"Many illnesses have a weekly clock with spikes early in the week," said SDSU's John W. Ayers, lead author of the study. "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, PhD, a co-author of the study and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, added, "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."

"It's interesting to see such a consistent and similar rhythm emerging from search data," added Benjamin Althouse, study co-author and Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. "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."

Results showed that search volumes on Monday and Tuesday were three percent greater relative to Wednesday, 15 percent greater than Thursday, 49 percent greater than Friday, 80 percent greater than Saturday, and 29 percent greater than Sunday.

The team also examined whether media exposure could be driving this weekly pattern. Co-author Mark Dredze from Johns Hopkins said, "We tested this hypothesis by monitoring the daily frequency of news stories encouraging healthy lifestyles, but those stories actually peaked on Wednesdays and were statistically independent of healthy searches."

According to the published paper, "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."

Morgan Johnson, MPH, from The Monday Campaigns and study co-author, noted that leveraging Monday is a simple, cost-effective way to nudge people towards healthier behavior. "The challenge we face in public health is to help people sustain healthy behaviors over time. Since Monday comes around every seven days when people are 'open to buy' health, it can be used as a cue to help create healthy habits for life."


Contact: Beth Chee
San Diego State University

Related medicine news :

1. CU researchers discover target for treating dengue fever
2. Feinstein Institute researcher publishes new perspective on sepsis
3. BUSM researchers find anti-seizure drug may reduce alcohol consumption
4. Researcher looks at public perceptions around newborn testing
5. More research called for into HIV and schistosomiasis coinfection in African children
6. Researchers identify children with emotional behavior difficulties
7. Protein researches closing in on the mystery of schizophrenia
8. Henry Ford Hospital researcher wins 2014 Abraham White Distinguished Science Award
9. UCSF launches groundbreaking online registry to drive brain disease research
10. Analysis finds less research attention given to diseases of the poor
11. Researchers identify similarities between HIV/AIDS and opioid addiction epidemics
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Sikka Software announced today ... Meeting. Their Ecosystem empowers dentists to make complex business decisions by providing the tools ... receive a free fee survey with 10 procedures customized by zip code. , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... Scott Newman MD, FACS of New ... plastic surgeons in the New York City area to utilize the new, non-invasive ... heat-induced laser treatment for fat loss in the abdomen, flanks, and other areas ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... training for healthcare professionals worldwide today released the results of a survey of ... Middle East and Africa found a growing global demand for high quality online ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Miami, FL (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... manufacturer and engineer of patented products, announces the Unstoppable Swappables, a household invention ... Window Coverings Industry makes $2 billion a year and is growing at 2.6%," ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 29, 2015 , ... "I ... games. Things that as a Mother and Wife would love to do, I missed. ... that I just happened to call Dr. Zaidan first. They have changed my life ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... November 30, 2015 Elbit Imaging ... "Company") announced today that it was informed by InSightec Ltd. ... Safety (MFDS) has approved its Exablate Neuro system to ... --> --> Insightec,s Exablate Neuro platform ... that combines two technologies: Focused Ultrasound, which is used ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... Nov. 29, 2015  The GE Health Cloud 1 ... Society of North America (RSNA) meeting ... healthcare industry, the new cloud ecosystem and its applications will ... care pathways and multidisciplinary teams – both inside and outside ... and CEO of GE. "As the digital industrial leader, we ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... Niederlande, November 27, 2015 ... bei fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> Ein ... fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   --> Ein ... fortgeschrittenem Krebs.   Clinical Cancer Research ... Clinical Cancer Research vom 6. November ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: