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Monday, June 27, 2022

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John Ayers on stage during the TEDx San Diego event. Credit: Natalia Robert, Full Circle Images.
 


Monday Ain’t All Bad

SDSU Professor John Ayers was a speaker at TEDx San Diego.
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San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health professor John W. Ayers recently spoke at TEDx San Diego.

Ayers is a computational epidemiologist who uses web data, like Google searches, Tweets, and Facebook, to study public health trends. In his presentation "Monday Ain't All Bad," he shared how his research can lead to surprising discoveries that contradict conventional wisdom in public health.

Specifically, Monday is the day you're most likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or worse, but his new findings show for the first time that people, across the globe, are actively thinking about improving their health through diet, exercise, or to quit smoking on Mondays.

"All ideas are based on some data," said Ayers, "and the limitless supply of data online means that public health has a whole host of questions that can be asked and then immediately answered. Thanks to TEDx San Diego, I was able to share how something as simple as assessing when individuals are thinking about their health can have major public health consequences."

Ayers closed out his talk by highlighting how billions of dollars are spent each year on mass media encouraging people to change their health habits without considering when people may be most susceptible to these messages. He said it would be more cost effective to target the population on Mondays and reminded the audience to re-think their plans for Mondays and start improving their health — everybody else is doing it.

The results of his team's work has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine and are forthcoming in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.