Tradition suggests that January 1 is the perfect time to decide to improve your health. But our collective success rate there is grim: One survey found that only about 17 percent of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick them out for more than one month. So when do we make behavior changes that really stick?
Research has shown that more people start diet and exercise regimes, quit smoking, and make doctors’ appointments on Mondays than any other day of the week. Now, a new analysis of online search queries show that health-related contemplations are also most likely to take place on a Monday.
The study, to be published early next week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that health-related Google queries peak on Monday and Tuesday. They then decline throughout the week before plunging on Saturday and rebounding again Monday.
"These findings show that healthy thinking and behavior is synced to the week, with Monday being the day we're most likely to start healthy," said Morgan Johnson, a co-author of the study. "This suggests that people see the new week much like a new beginning—a January 1st that happens every seven days."
Similar to the 24-hour circadian rhythm that serves as a natural "body clock," a 7-day cycle known as our circaseptan rhythm governs numerous biological functions. Monday spikes, in particular, have been associated with several cardiovascular events, such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, and stroke, as well as infectious disease. Now, says, Johnson, it appears that Healthy considerations, follow the same kind of rhythm.