Have you ever woken up with the full intention to do more exercise, to stop an unhealthy habit and start a new one, or not to miss a dose of your prescribed medications, only to find that somehow life got in the way?
Changing to healthier behaviours can be challenging, and the majority of people struggle to stick to healthier lifestyle choices. Changes that can be particularly tough to maintain include doing more physical activity, quitting smoking, and remembering to take important medications. Yet these are areas that can make a significant difference to someone’s health and quality of life. What are the tips and tricks that could aid the transition between a good intention and actual behaviour? How might it be possible to sustainably incorporate this change into your daily life?
The Behavioural Science Group, is focusing on researching and developing ways to help improve people’s ability to make and maintain lifestyle changes. We are working on a number of novel projects and interventions, and we are particularly keen to utilise technology such as smartphones and web-based support as part of this. We have developed several SMS text message programmes to help people quit smoking and do more physical activity and are in the process of developing several mobile phone applications. We are also developing an intervention to help people with chronic diseases to take their medications regularly as prescribed. As mobile technology advances, we too are looking to develop novel and exciting ways to incorporate any features which could help increase lifestyle-change success.
To develop our ideas and research into applications and programmes that are directly integrated with the needs and preferences of anyone looking to make a lifestyle change, we are launching our first blog about our research and inviting you to get involved in discussions and feedback. We will also be holding a workshop at the Festival of Ideas in Cambridge in November this year, where some of our applications and behavioural strategies can be tried out by anyone interested so come along and meet us in person and until then, keep an eye out for our blog posts and follow us on Twitter (@BSG_Cambridge) to keep up to date with more about our projects!