+Behavior DesignFor Better Health Experiment in Context Change Jenny Hong (firstname.lastname@example.org) October 2012
+ Introduction This past week, I undertook three changes in my environment to see their (hopefully positive) effect on health behaviors Change #1: Placed phone and laptop on ground so I remember to stretch to get them in the morning. Change #2: Lay out floor exercise equipment by wardrobe. Change #3: Switched my meal plan from 10 meals/week (minimum) to 19 meals/week (maximum) in dining halls
+ Problem: I like to stretch in the morning, but sometimes I instinctively check my phone in a rush and get on with my day.Change #1: Morning Goal: I can’t get to my phone without stretching.stretch Procedure: Put my morning checklist materials on the ground, so I get into a stretch position (reaching for my toes) just by reaching for them. As expected: I see my phone on the ground and remember to stretch. Success!
+ A single stretch is a great domino action for a whole stretch routine. The placement didn’t force me to stretch,Change #1: Morning but it reminded me to do something easy and (relatively) painless that I alreadystretch wanted to do.Surprises! There were morechanges in my behavior than just In terms of behavior as a function ofwhat I had targeted. motivation, ability, and a trigger, (B=MAT) this was changing only the trigger. I now check my phone in weird stretch positions. Extensions? I could do this with more objects for triggers throughout the day. For instance, put my pencil pouch on a high shelf
Problem: There’s a lot of set up required to do mat exercises— change clothes, place to sit, etc. Goal: Exercise as soon as I think to do it, without extra effort spent to set up.+ Change #2: Floor exercises Procedure: Instead of cleaning up after I finish exercising, I lay a new set of clothes out in the same spot.
+ Change #2: Floor exercises Results Surprises! Floor exercises became I learned that part of what made easier, all I had to do was sit pushups and sit-ups so hard to down (all my stuff was ready!) do for 3 Tiny Habits was the dirtiness of the floor. In terms of B=MAT, I increased my ability. Seeing the clothes I go through clothes more was also a bit of a trigger. quickly either get more clothes or do laundry more
Problem: My eating schedule becomesincreasingly irregular and increasinglyunhealthy as the quarter progresses. +Method: I changed my Stanford meal plan Change #3:from 10 to 19 dining hall meals per week. Meal planThis means I have zero meal plan dollarsfor late night dining, Axe and Palm, etc.As expected… I eat during dining hall hours, at regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I eat a greater and healthier variety than I did at late night, Axe and Palm, and Olive’s.
I naturally sleep more regularly, getting hungry around breakfast time. + Less tempted for unhealthy late night snacks Change #3: I know I will eat as soon as I get up Meal plan… No meal plan dollars! surprises! No excuses to work through meals. More opportunity to grab meals with classmates; pro-social behavior change Dining halls are farther walked more
+ Conclusions For the first two behaviors, mental triggers were not enough: environmental facilitation and triggers streamlined the process. The tasks at first seemed easy enough, but they could be made even easier! Stretches and exercises have a variable duration—it was very easy to extend a routine once I got it going.