Behavior scientists show us that there are several triggers that impact behavior. Self-efficacy, Social norms and Attitude are powerful tools for this. But we also know if even those 3 factors cannot trigger behavior change for some reason (often lack of resources or demotivating environment) healthy habit formation can still occur when acertain behavior is performed for a period of time daily. It takes 14 days of reoccurring behavior to get used to a certain behavior and 21 days to fully adopt the habit and make it a norm. This provides much opportunity for health professionals to design interventions that can actually help people to adopt healthy habits. In our digital society online interventions seem to be the most effective in reaching more people and social media like Facebook provides opportunities to also reach low income groups on big scale.
The Online Healthy Habit Challenge by Health Solutions is a good example of such intervention. The challenge takes place every spring since 2015 on Facebook. With this initiative Health Solutions tries to anticipate on the habit adoption mechanism by challenging participants to adopt a healthy habit for at least 14 days. Every year a different theme is picked and people all over the globe are invited to take part in the challenge for free. During the 14 days participants receive all ins and outs about this topics and professional tips on how to adopt and maintain the habit. The challenge is hosted by Veronika Polozkova, a public health expert with 6 years of experience in health promotion and nutrition interventions. A co-host is determined by the topic of the year. The 2017 challenge is about Sport and Michael Lomanov (physical therapist) is the co-cost that will back-us-up on the physical activity tips.
What makes the Healthy Habit Challenge special? There are many online blogs with free health tips available and that suggest adopting healthy habits. However there are some issues with many. First of all many health blogs are not supported by professionals and sometimes even provide health damaging advice. Healthy Habit Challenge is fully backed up by health pro’s that all have a Masters degree in health. The second thing that makes this event special is that the participants are actually guided every day and receive a 14 day long daily reminders and group motivation to make it interesting and easy to adopt the habit. This makes it not only fun but also easy to fulfill the challenge. Another important thing about the challenge is that it invites participants to adopt only one habit at the time. From scientific evidence we see that when focusing on one particular habit at the time, it makes it easier to adopt it, compared to interventions that have a multi-habit focus.
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The challenge is a nonprofit and the participation is free. Support the challenge on Kickstarter and receive a Certificate of your contribution to this great voluntary initiative:
About the funder of the challenge: https://www.linkedin.com/in/veronikapolozkova