Converging to the Lowest Common Denominator in Physical Health

19 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2012 Last revised: 24 Aug 2015

See all articles by Leslie K. John

Leslie K. John

Harvard Business School

Michael I. Norton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Date Written: February 10, 2012

Abstract

In this field experiment, we attempted to reduce sedentary workplace behavior by introducing walkstations – slow-moving treadmills attached to elevated workspaces enabling employees to walk while working – giving employees feedback on their own and their coworkers’ walkstation usage, and measuring its impact over six months. Feedback on coworkers’ usage had a negative effect: usage declined more when participants were given information on peers’ usage levels, due to a tendency to converge to the lowest common denominator.

Keywords: exercise, sedentary behavior, social feedback

JEL Classification: D23, I00, C93

Suggested Citation

John, Leslie K. and Norton, Michael I., Converging to the Lowest Common Denominator in Physical Health (February 10, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2002798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2002798

Leslie K. John (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Michael I. Norton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
84
Abstract Views
909
rank
296,194
PlumX Metrics