Interventions Using Mental Imagery Techniques

We are developing interventions that use brief mental imagery techniques to help people develop and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors. In research led by Dr. Carina Chan (Monash University-Sunway Campus, Malaysia), we conducted a randomized controlled trial demonstrating that specific mental imagery strategies effectively increased physical activity over time. The strategies involved brief visualizations of achieving desired goals and visualizations of engaging in the specific steps to prepare for and begin the physical activity session.

In research led by Marisa Loft (doctoral student at The University of Auckland), we have conducted a randomized controlled trial of a similar intervention using mental imagery techniques to improve sleep behavior for employees who work in daytime office jobs. The intervention is designed to be a low-cost program that can be easily implemented in workplace settings to improve employee health.

Selected Reference:

Chan, C. K. Y. , & Cameron, L. D. (2011). Promoting physical activity with goal-oriented mental imagery: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, in press. DOI 10.1007/s10865-011-9360-6.