SOURCE: EarnMyDegree.com

EarnMyDegree.com

December 03, 2009 07:30 ET

EarnMyDegree.com Study Shows That Flu Fears Are Influencing Lifestyle Changes

Recent Study Indicates the H1N1 Virus Is Driving Some People to Online Education

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - December 3, 2009) - One of the lasting legacies of 2009 and looming challenges of 2010 is the H1N1 virus. Fears about contracting H1N1 (commonly known as the swine flu) have consumed many Americans for most of the year, so EarnMyDegree.com (http://www.earnmydegree.com), a web resource of EducationDynamics, which connects prospective students with online classes, commissioned a new study about whether flu-related worries have caused people to change their habits. The study found that people are taking new precautions to avoid getting sick, from more diligent cleaning to staying at home to studying online.

"When we asked people about what changes, if any, they are making due to H1N1, we found that a majority (66 percent) of Americans admit they've let the fear of the virus impact their daily life and that they have made some changes," said Terrence Thomas, with EarnMyDegree.com.

For the majority of Americans, the primary change they've made is more cleaning. Eighty-nine percent of those who have made changes in reaction to H1N1 fears report they now use hand sanitizers or wash their hands more often, and 35 percent clean their homes more frequently.

In addition to more zealous cleaning, some are altering their social habits. The EarnMyDegree.com study found that 29 percent of those who have changed their behaviors shake hands less often, and 16 percent are eating out less frequently, if at all. Additionally, some say they are actually considering online education to avoid classroom germs.

"Surprisingly, we found that six percent of people are now considering or have already started online classes because of H1N1," continued Thomas. "Many people don't want to take any risks and are turning to online education to avoid potentially getting sick from classmates."

Other research findings include:

-- Four percent of those in fear of H1N1 have decided to kiss their significant other less often.

-- Flu fears are gripping more women than men. The study shows that 71 percent of women and 60 percent of men confess they've been acting differently because of the H1N1 epidemic. This is especially true when it comes to keeping hands clean (91 percent of women vs. 86 percent of men) and making sure their home is germ-free (42 percent of women vs. 27 percent of men).

-- For homes with children, parents are certainly more cautious, with three in four (75 percent) starting to do things differently due to the flu threat, versus 60 percent of non-parents.

The EarnMyDegree.com Survey was conducted by Kelton Research among 1,000 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over between November 3 and November 10, 2009, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the entire U.S. population ages 18 and over.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.

In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About EarnMyDegree.com

EarnMyDegree.com, part of the Prospecting Services Division of EducationDynamics, is a network of leading websites that connect prospective students with colleges, universities and online learning programs. Established in 2003, EarnMyDegree.com serves as a one-stop directory for undergraduate and advanced degrees, as well as professional certificates in a variety of fields from business to healthcare to technology. EarnMyDegree.com's team of marketing experts, designers and copywriters have a proven track record for optimizing marketing campaign results to increase qualified leads. More than 3 million students have been connected to the online education programs of their choice through EarnMyDegree.com. To learn more, visit http://www.EarnMyDegree.com.

About EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is higher education's leading marketing services company dedicated to helping institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, StudyAbroad.com, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. Through its Market Research and Advisory Services division, the company brings a decade of proprietary research, unparalleled market and student intelligence, and best practice insights to its clients. For more information, visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.