Monday's Theme: Walking at Work

The Johns Hopkins Healthy Monday Project (JHHMP) started in 2009, so it hasn't been bugging anyone about healthy diet and habits for very long. Based at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, it is a campaign asking staffers, faculty members, and students of the Johns Hopkins Medicine and University systems to change their behaviors for the better -- eating more vegetables, cutting calories, adding fitness breaks to the work day, meditating, exercising, avoiding meat and salt, etc.

The idea for "Healthy Mondays" grew from a World War II rationing campaign recalled by an ad executive, according to an account published in the May issue of the Bloomberg School's magazine. Healthy Mondays were seen as a way to get Americans to recommit to healthy behaviors on the first day of the week, which is "is a special day in terms of status and opportunity . . . a reliable and recurring vantage point within our calendar cycle from which people often begin or renew their commitment to take action or make a change that can improve their health behaviors."

Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications joined the Bloomberg School in providing technical assistance to the Monday Campaigns.

Its tip for June 6, the 23rd Monday of 2011, is to "Get more steps into your day by walking whenever you can." June 20 is Kids Cook Monday, and June 27 is the day to enjoy a new outdoor activity, such as hiking or volleyball, the campaign says.

JHHMP was created under the direction of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, which has partnered with health insurance companies and others to create wellness programs and promote lifestyle changes.

"It's about changing people's default self-image. The Monday concept works perfectly for that. If you say, 'I am someone who is healthy, it's just that every once in a while, I fall off the wagon,' you can always hit restart on Monday," Ralph Loglisci, project director for the Healthy Monday Project at the center, says in Phoebe Connelly's "52 Chances" article in the magazine.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Jun 02, 2011