Sweden’s latest fitness craze combines physical and environmental health

by | Mar 8, 2018

In 2007, Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer wanted to understand the mindset of hotel cleaning staff. Specifically, she wanted to study the relationship between exercise and self-image.

Big Think
March 8, 2018
By Derek Beres

Maids made for a perfect test group, given they spend entire days working out, even though they might not realize how much physical energy they’re actually using. Do they consider their jobs healthy?

Eighty-four attendants from seven different hotels took part in the study. The experimental group was told “the work they do (cleaning hotel rooms) is good exercise and satisfies the Surgeon General’s recommendations for an active lifestyle,” while the control group was not informed of this fact. After four weeks, the group primed to believe they’re exercising lost weight and saw decreases in body fat, blood pressure, waist-to-hip ratio, and body mass index. The same did not occur in the control group.

Lifesum has also partnered with Keep America Beautiful, which created an online portal for ploggers to track garbage they’ve collected. Mike Rosen, senior vice-president of the non-profit organization, believes this is a powerful opportunity to consider the health of yourself and the environment while partaking in a group activity with a shared focus.

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