Keeping New Year’s resolutions isn’t easy, particularly those that require changes in behavior such as eating healthier foods or getting regular exercise. Join the ranks of Kaiser Permanente members who have submitted more 1 million personalized healthy lifestyle programs on kp.org to keep your health goals top of mind throughout the year.
The results are positive. According to survey responses collected 90 days after taking the programs, participants in sum:
- Smoked 50,000 fewer cigarettes per day
- Lost 118,000 pounds — 59 tons — of weight
- Reported 840,000 more hours of sleep per year
“The healthy lifestyle programs on kp.org serve as a wonderful adjunct to our clinical services and our in-person health education classes, in particular the long-term weight management courses,” said Jack K. Der-Sarkissian, MD, assistant chief of family medicine, Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center.“ Knowledge is power and these informative online programs help empower our patients in a friendly and accessible method.”
Making it personal
Members registered for My Health Manager on kp.org can complete a Total Health Assessment, which is a series of questions that help prioritize which health programs would be most beneficial for them. Members also can go directly to a program that interests them and get started at kp.org/healthylifestyles.
Once a member starts a program, they receive a personalized action plan to help them get motivated, gain confidence and point their lives in a healthier direction. Subsequent follow-up emails help members stay engaged throughout the year. Members can also speak with a wellness coach over the phone to outline small, easy steps to reach long-term goals.
The full list of programs includes:
- Total Health Assessment
- Eat healthy
- Lose weight
- Manage back pain
- Manage diabetes
- Manage pain
- Overcoming depression
- Overcoming insomnia
- Quit smoking
- Reduce stress
Behavior change for everyone
Kaiser Permanente also hosts several videos on kp.org, available to the general public, that support healthy living and behavior change. Most recently, the health care organization partnered with Stanford University behavior change expert B. J. Fogg on three videos focused on making small, positive changes toward healthy behavior.
According to Fogg’s model, three things must occur at the same time for behavior to change: motivation, ability and trigger. He also states that long-term behavior change is best achieved by changing the environment and taking “baby steps” to change behaviors and leverage success.
“First find something that you want to change, hopefully something that is pleasurable,” said David Sobel, MD, MPH, medical director, regional health education, The Permanente Medical Group. “Then make it small, simple and celebrate. Finally, focus on changing your environment rather than willpower.”
For example, if you want to add more walking into your day, you could schedule a walking meeting as one of your daily meetings. And to remind you, you could leave your walking shoes in your office, where you are most likely to see them. By scheduling the time on your calendar, you have made it easier to walk (as time is often a barrier to exercise); and by making the shoes visible, you have added a trigger or prompt. So even if your motivation to walk is low you have now made a plan with another person to walk and talk so it’s harder to back out of it.
Follow Dr. Sobel on Twitter at @KPhealthyfun or B.J. Fogg at @bjfogg for more tips on taking baby steps to better health. Or take your first small step to better health by taking the Total Health Assessment at kp.org/healthylifestyles.