Sunday 23 November, 2014

People scan internet for health early in week: Study

Published On: Sat, Apr 19th, 2014 | Social Health | By BioNews

Do you scan internet looking for topics on how to improve your health early in the week and switch to lifestyle and soft searches on weekends? A fascinating research says so.

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, it added.

The researchers analysed weekly patterns in health-related Google searches and revealed a recurring pattern that could be leveraged to improve public health strategies.

“Many illnesses have a weekly clock with spikes early in the week,” said John W. Ayers, lead author from San Diego State University.

This research indicates that a similar rhythm exists for positive health behaviours.

Investigators scanned “healthy” Google searches in the US from 2005 to 2012.

They found that search volumes 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.

“It is interesting to see such a consistent and similar rhythm emerging from search data,” added Benjamin Althouse from Santa Fe Institute.

“These consistent rhythms in healthy searches likely reflect something about our collective mindset.

“Understanding these rhythms could lead to insights about the nature of health behaviour change,” he added in the study published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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, the study concluded.

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