Got salads and workouts on the brain? It’s probably early in the week, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers analyzed weekly patterns in health-related Google searches originating in the U.S. from 2005 to 2012. On average, they found searches for health topics were 30% more frequent at the beginning of the week versus days later in the week.
“Healthy” Google searches included things like “healthy diet,” the term “healthy,” or anything health-related. The lowest average number of healthy searches occurred on Saturday, which probably comes as no surprise seeing as weekends are classic times to cheat.
One theory for the pattern is that Monday is seen as a fresh start to most, “akin to a mini New Year’s Day,” comments Joanna Cohen, Ph.D., a co-author of the study. “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.”
So you’re more likely to be healthy on Monday versus Friday–so what? Knowing when people are more proactive about their health could benefit public health initiatives tremendously. By targeting people on days when they are more willing to adopt healthier behaviors, government-funded programs could yield more success.
Healthy habits have to start somewhere, and it appears you’ve got a better chance of sticking to your guns if you start off on Monday morning.