Busy people tend to make healthier choices, study says


Stack your schedule and keep chugging on that to-do list.Keeping busy could help you make healthier lifestyle choices, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.In a series of experiments in which volunteers were made to experience various levels of busyness (through triggers like simulated text messages), those with the most going on showed greater signs of self-control in sticking to a healthy diet, an exercise regimen and even a savings plans.

In a statement, study co-author Amitava Chattopadhyay, a professor of marketing at the international graduate business school INSEAD, says the link stems from the related boost in self-confidence, which compels people to take better care of themselves.

   “Every day, we make many decisions that involve choosing between our immediate and future well-being,” Chattopadhyay says. “For instance, do we go to the gym after work, or do we just go home to relax in front of the television?
Do we save money for retirement, or do we splurge on a trip? Do we eat fruit or cake for dessert? When we perceive ourselves to be busy, it boosts our self-esteem, tipping the balance in favor of the more virtuous choice.”

The study bucks conventional wisdom that a hectic schedule results in sloppy or unhealthy decisions. Indeed, beware the confidence dip that comes with an empty day planner.