<ul><li>“ Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” -Jim Rohn </li></ul>
How to Keep Going in the daily application of sunscreen A method for habit formation by Rosemary Ehlers habits.stanford.edu
<ul><li>Women are barraged with a multitude of products to keep themselves looking young and fresh –one of these many products is a simple sunscreen. While there has always been much focus on the face , if women truly wish to protect themselves from premature aging , they must not forget to apply sunscreen to their neck and hands as well. </li></ul>The Motivation habits.stanford.edu
<ul><li>Ability to carry out the desired habit –do you have sunscreen? </li></ul><ul><li>I provided small, easily portable bottles of sunscreen to my users. </li></ul>The Method habits.stanford.edu Identify the smallest possible step – applying sunscreen to your hands. I asked my users to apply sunscreen only to their hands. Trigger the step – receive a text message reminder. I sent my users a text message reminder at 11am asking them if they had used their sunscreen.
The Method habits.stanford.edu In it for the long haul –graduated frequency of reminders. Ultimately, the goal was for the users to apply sunscreen daily without a text message reminder –who really likes the idea of texting yourself a reminder every day for years? To that end, the frequency of reminders depended on the consistency with which you applied sunscreen. If you consistently used sunscreen at one level of frequency (daily), the frequency of reminders dropped (every two days). If you missed a day at the new frequency level, the frequency of reminders was increased. Ideally, eventually you would stop needing reminders at all. <ul><li>Frequency goes to every two days </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency goes back to every day </li></ul>
<ul><li>In the short term, the method was a success –overall, the user applied sunscreen 71% of the time . However, the goal of the design was to create a long-term habit, and towards the end of the study there was still no clear indication that the users were able to remember to apply sunscreen without the help of a trigger . </li></ul>The Results habits.stanford.edu Replied ‘Yes’ to text message reminder. Replied ‘No’ to text message reminder. No reply. X Did not send a reminder. Total Responses:
<ul><li>The study was designed for a longer run-time than 10 days; in retrospect, it might have been better to design a study meant to last only 10 days. </li></ul><ul><li>The non-daily reminders did not work so well for some people –towards the end of the study, when reminders started to come at two-day intervals instead of daily, there was an increase in non-replies . Non-replies might also have been influenced by people’s busy and chaotic weekend schedules. </li></ul><ul><li>Still, users remembered to use sunscreen most of the time. (71%) </li></ul><ul><li>In a final survey, one user said that texting was an “un-intrusive way to remind me to use sunscreen.” </li></ul><ul><li>Two users reported disliking ‘real’ sunscreen because it felt greasy –originally I had planned to provide everyone with moisturizer with SPF, but due to budget constraints could only give them regular sunscreen. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite this, both users were two of the three who said they were likely to continue to apply sunscreen daily. Three users did not reply to the final survey. </li></ul>Conclusions habits.stanford.edu
Conclusions habits.stanford.edu In summary: Longer studies are required to determine if non-daily reminders will be successful or not. Study was ‘non-intrusive’, which will be good for the long-term. Users applied sunscreen 71% of the time. Three out of seven users said they were likely to continue to apply sunscreen.
<ul><li>WANT TO RUN YOUR OWN STUDY? –a few good resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Send scheduled text messages to yourself & others: http://www.textmemos.com/ http://www.ohdontforget.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Information on sunscreen: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to choose the best sunscreen: http://cancer.about.com/od/skincancerprevention/a/choosesunscreen.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to apply sunscreen: http://cancer.about.com/od/skincancerprevention/ht/applysunscreen.htm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UVA Radiation: http://dermatology.about.com/cs/agingskin/g/uva.htm </li></ul></ul>habits.stanford.edu