Study Suggests E-Mail Could Spur the Lazy into Action

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A Kaiser Permanente Division of Research study has found that an e-mail intervention program ("good spam"?) can encourage people to eat healthier and become more physically active.

The study involved 787 KP employees in Northern California. It involved e-mailing a control group with feedback on their lifestyles at the start of the study and emailing others with tips and goals such as eating fruit for snack or walking during lunch. Sure enough, at the end of the 16-week trial, the intervention group was more physically active and eating better, especially those who at the start of the trail were not very fit or good about their eating. Lasting effects 4 months after the study were also seen, according to the researchers, who have published their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"The takeaway message here for people who want to improve their diet and physical activity, and for employers who want a healthier workforce, is that e-mail intervention programs are a very cost-effective way to get healthy," said study lead investigator Barbara Sternfeld, Ph.D., senior research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and the study's lead investigator.

The research was funded bythe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This story, "Study Suggests E-Mail Could Spur the Lazy into Action" was originally published by Network World.

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