Tell me what you think doesn’t matter

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What you think you become
What you feel you attract
What you imagine you create
Buddha

A recent research investigated the connection between perceived exercise of hotel housekeeping staff and their health. They found that the housekeepers who came to believe that their work involved exercise became healthier compared to the housekeepers who had no such mindset change – even though actual exercise for the informed group did not change.

The researchers chose to study housekeeping because the role involves significant exercise – cleaning rooms, making beds, walking, lifting and bending. People in these roles might not realize the amount of exercise they were getting and they would then probably not be getting the health benefits of their job. The researchers hypothesized that if their mindset shifted so they became aware of the exercise they are getting then health improvements would likely follow.

Seven hotels were chosen with four hotels assigned to the ‘informed group’ and three to the ‘control group’. During an early stage of the process housekeepers in the informed group were given information about how their work is good exercise. The control group was given no such information.

At the beginning of the four-week study measures were taken of weight and percent of body fat, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure. Four weeks later the researchers returned and recorded the same measures.

Results

The results were significant in both perceived exercise and the impacts on health. For the informed group the number of people who reported exercising regularly doubled and the average amount of exercise increased by 20% (both were perceived exercise as there was no change in actual exercise outside of work and no change in workload at work).

This shift in mindset “was accompanied by remarkable improvement in physiological measures associated with exercise”. After just four weeks of knowing their work was good exercise the informed group lost an average of 2 pounds, lowered their systolic blood pressure by 10 points and were significantly healthier on the measures of body-fat, body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio.’

So shifting our thinking WILL shift our results – but we knew that didn’t we?

Bill

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