Weekend excesses linked to most internet health searches on a Monday
7th May 2014
stressedFollowing a heavy weekend of boozing and feasting on fatty takeaway food, it is only natural to be more worried about our health come Monday, as the realisation of our excesses starts to hit home. Therefore, it should come as little surprise to learn that new research has shown that Google searches for a variety of health concerns actually peak on the first working day of the week and again are still quite high the following day on Tuesday. However, psychologists at San Diego State University say that as the week progresses on, our health worries seem to subside considerably in comparison to Monday and Tuesday. According to calculations, there are an incredible 160 million health-related searches on Google alone each and every day of the year. Researchers at the University decided to investigate any potential link between peak times of health concerns and sickness patterns each week. For instance, there have been studies that demonstrate a spike in heart attack rates on a Monday. Binge drinking at the weekend is added to the stress of going back to work on a Monday, creating unneeded strain on the heart. Meanwhile, other evidence points to Wednesday being our most miserable-feeling day of the week – perhaps because it is right in the middle of the week and furthest away from the weekend! The American team painstakingly assessed each health related search that was conducted on Google 2005 and 2012. Once the data was broken down into a percentage of overall search volume, it was discovered that health searches on Monday and Tuesday were 30% higher than the rest of the week combined. Studying further, the team found the number of searches dropped slightly on Wednesdays, by 3%, before falling 15% on Thursdays, nearly by a half on Fridays and then plunging by around 80% on Saturdays. Our health worries seem to increase by Sunday – possibly as many are nursing a hangover – before peaking on Monday. In an accompanying report, the researchers say their analysis corroborate with past studies showing that high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and infectious conditions all peak at the beginning of the week. This is often referred to as circaseptan rhythms. In their report, the researchers say one theory is that Monday is ‘akin to a mini New Year’s day’, whereby weekend excesses result in more need to seek health information. They add: “Poor health choices during the weekend may promote a desire to cleanse come Monday. There is strong potential for improving public health.  Health promotion campaigns could immediately be made more cost effective by targeting the population early in the week rather than uniformly across the week.”