Just imagine, a world without exercise or diet fads, one where we are able to remain slim simply by using the power of thought. Well then yes, you are living in that world and this bizarre fact has just been proven to be possible.
In a research investigation of the placebo effect and exercise, psychology researchers from Harvard University carried out the investigation on two separate groups of hard-working hotel housekeepers. On the fourth week of the investigation, it was noted that the group of 44 housekeepers that have had the fitness value of their tasks explained to them experienced remarkable health improvements. The recorded results were unbelievable. 44 of the housekeepers lost an average of 2 pounds, lowered their blood pressure by almost 10%, saw significant reductions in body mass index, body-fat percentage, and waist-to-hip ratio, compared with the 40 housekeepers in the uninformed group.
Members of the informed group also perceived themselves to be getting significantly more exercise than they had before, despite their workload, recreational exercise levels and diet, remaining the same throughout.
Dr. Alia Joy Crum, an American psychologist and principal investigator of the Stanford Mind and Body Lab who researches the effects of mindsets on human behavior leading up to physical and mental health outcomes shares “I think a lot of people equate mindsets with just sort of “power of positive thinking,” but it also encompasses negative consequences of mindsets known as nocebo effects in medicine which are equally as powerful. For example, if you are getting a lot of exercise, but feel like you’re not getting enough, or it’s not the right type, those are very specific negative mindsets that trickle down and result in indirect effects on your physiology, mood, and motivation.”
Weight loss without exercise, myth or possibility?
Throughout the experiment, the room attendants did not report any increase in exercise outside of work, workload or eating habits (including servings of sugary foods, vegetables, alcohol, water or caffeine).
While the possibility that the room attendants actually did change their behavior subconsciously or consciously by cutting back on calories, improving the quality of food eaten, or worked harder or more energetically and did not report such changes, previous research has found it very difficult to change behavior of this sort (Deutschman, 2005).
The bottom line of this research suggests that “we have more control over our health and well-being than we realize,” and one can achieve wonders just by increasing our mindfulness to the tasks at hand because it all adds up and the effects are ultimately compounded.
Do you believe in the power of the mind? How about attempting to recreate the experiment on yourself or with friends? Let us know what you think of this experiment!