I heard about a study carried out by Harvard University. The main purpose of this study was to challenge whether our perception, of how much exercise we are getting has any effect on how our bodies look. The study was conducted on two groups of hotel maids.
Hotel maids spend the majority of their days lugging heavy equipment around hallways. Their work is mostly physical. However, the hotel maids themselves didn’t see themselves as physically active. When asked if they exercise in a survey, more than half of them reported that they didn’t exercise at all. The researchers were surprised by this since their job was mostly exercise and they also exceeded the target for the recommended daily exercise. Whats more, they also didn’t seem to be benefiting from their activity.
The researcher’s measured their body fat, waist, blood pressure, weight and BMI. All indicators matched the maid’s perceived amount of exercise, rather than their actual amount of exercise.
They were divided into two groups. In one group, the researchers carefully went through each of the tasks which they did each day, explaining how many calories those tasks burned. They were informed that their activity already met the recommended target of acceptable active lifestyle.
The other group was given no information at all.
One month later the researchers returned to obtain physical measurements and they were astonished by the results! In the group that had been educated there was a decrease in their blood pressure, weight and waist measurements. However there were no changes in the measurements in the group given no information.
Whilst conducting the research, the team surveyed both groups and found no indication that they had altered their routines in any way. The only change applied was changing the mindset of one group.