It seems too good to be true but scientists believe that if you imagine you are losing weight you will, although little bit of exercise is also required.
Researchers made the discovery after monitoring 84 women hotel housekeepers who cleaned about 15 rooms a day.
Even though they exceeded daily recommended exercise levels to stay in trim they were “less healthy” than expected. So half were told their work gave them enough exercise to lose weight and keep fit.
They were told how many calories their daily tasks burned off every 15 minutes — such as 60 for cleaning, 50 for vacuuming and 40 for changing beds. <b1>
The rest were not told of the health benefits of their work. Four weeks on the first group had lost 2lb on average, cut body fat by about 0.5 per cent, body-mass index by 0.35 and blood pressure by ten per cent.
The others saw no improvement in health or physique. All the women were aged 18 to 55.
Psychologist Ellen Langer, who led the study, said: “The women were taught that their work was exercise. We wondered if a change in mindset could translate into a change in the health of the housekeepers — and it did.”
Ellen, of Harvard University in America, added: “If you can put the mind in a healthy place, you can have dramatic physiological consequences.”
She said: “Our mindsets are hard to change. If you’re just sitting on the couch and just telling yourself you’re exercising, you’re not going to believe yourself and so there’ll be no change.”