Friday, May 22, 2009

Now You Can Get Healthier Via E-mail

It seems that we're regularly flooded with new information regarding diet and exercise: what to eat, what not to eat, reminders to exercise, how long to exercise can all get rather overwhelming.

Well, in order to make getting healthier a bit simpler, some researchers decided to see what effect regular e-mails with health tips about diet and exercise would have on participants' over all health. The study, published in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, involved sending e-mails in a workplace setting using a program called ALIVE! (A Lifestyle Intervention Via E-mail).

The individuals receiving the e-mails got simple, custom-tailored, do-able advice that they could easily fit into their daily lives. In the end, they actually ate more fruits and vegetables, less saturated and trans fats and exercised more than they did before the intervention as well as compared with the control group who did not receive such e-mails. The researchers have concluded that this program appears to be an effective behaviour change strategy to help people get a little bit healthier. Some hypothesized reasons for the program's success included the aspect of support within the workplace, the convenience and the simple information provided.

Hey, sometimes we all need a little boost or reminder that making small changes doesn't have to be so hard, but it can certainly make a big difference on our overall health. Since most of us spend a lot of time at our computers anyways, I think it would be great to incorporate health tips into our lives via our inboxes, especially if they're proven to work!