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Monday, April 7, 2008

New Years' Resolutions: Quarterly Report

Interesting facts that are timely for anyone trying to help people stick with their New Years resolutions beyond the first quarter, from Health Insurance and Protection Magazine:

“MOST PEOPLE WILL HAVE FALLEN OFF the health wagon by mid-March, research by PruHealth suggests.

“The poll of 3,292 British adults found that 69% of women planned to embark on a new diet or fitness regime at the start of the year, but just 35% see it as an ongoing, permanent lifestyle change rather than an attempt to quickly lose a few extra pounds.

“The research said the average dieter sticks to their regime for 78.6 days – from January 1 until mid-March. For 16% of dieters in 2007 it took the shock of a health scare to inspire them to take action.

“The main motivation was the desire for a healthy lifestyle (35%), followed by the three month run-up to the summer holiday season (22%) and the desire to look good on the beach (18%).”

Frankly, I expected worse. About half of the women who undertook diets stuck with them for nearly three months; 35 percent get the message that they are trying to make a permanent lifestyle change.

It's possible to view these statistics as the glass half-empty. But veteran wellness professionals know these numbers are a strong base to build off of--and good motivation ourselves to redouble efforts this time of year to get employees re-engaged with their early-year plans for better health.

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