Invisible Exercises

In a groundbreaking study researchers from Harvard University enlisted eighty hotel cleaning staff – who were constantly lifting, carrying, and moving during the course of their working day – and split them into two groups. The first group were told about the benefits of exercise, and given handouts detailing just how many calories they burned during the course of an average working day, according to their various cleaning jobs (vacuuming, changing sheets, scrubbing bathrooms). The second group were only told about the general benefits of exercise. Both groups completed health tests and questionnaires about their diets and lifestyles. One month later, the researchers returned and asked the cleaning staff to complete the same health tests and questionnaires. Although neither group had made any significant lifestyle changes and both had undertaken the same workload over the past month, the first group – those who had been told exactly how many calories they were burning during the course of a working day – had lost weight, lowered their BMI, and lowered their blood pressure. The second group – unfortunately for them – showed no such changes. This extraordinary study shows just how effective the power of the mind can be. When the attendants in the first group realised just how beneficial their jobs were in terms of their health and fitness, their bodies responded accordingly!