Search Icon White

Happy New Year! Standards Help Support Your Resolutions

Each year, millions of Americans celebrate the New Year by resolving to make positive changes in their lives. But while willpower and planning are usually central elements in making these goals a reality, some resolutions get a much-needed boost from a variety of voluntary consensus standards, many of them developed by members of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Federation.

New Year's is a time when a lot of people start a workout regime to get in shape after a long holiday season filled with rich desserts, alcoholic beverages, and insufficient exercise. Thankfully, a standard from ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International is ready to lend a helping hand. ASTM F2106-12, Standard Test Methods for Evaluating Design and Performance Characteristics of Motorized Treadmills, sets down methods for examining and evaluating treadmills in connection with stability, endurance, overheating, exterior design, and a number of other parameters. For individuals whose health and fitness struggles have less to do with an inactive lifestyle and more to do with a poor diet, NSF/ANSI 173-2012, Dietary Supplements, has you covered. This standard provides requirements for dietary supplements that contain at least one vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, or extract, metabolite, constituent, or concentrate of such an ingredient, for the purpose of supplementing an individual's diet. It was developed by NSF International, an ANSI member and audited designator.

While lack of exercise and eating too much (or just too much of the wrong things) can be harmful to your health, many resolutions also target another health scourge: stress. Managing stress levels can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other illnesses, allowing people to live longer, healthier lives. But reducing stress can be just as difficult to achieve as saying no to that inviting slice of cake or getting up for your daily run. For many people, massage can play an important role in relieving stress, whether you're getting being treated by a trained masseur or making use of an inexpensive electric massager. An international standard from the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), IEC 60335-2-32 Ed. 4.1 b:2008, Household and similar electrical appliances - Safety - Part 2-32: Particular requirements for massage appliances, sets down important safety guidelines for the use of a number of different home electric massagers, including handheld massagers, massage pads, chairs, belts, and beds. The standard was developed by IEC Technical Committee (TC) 61, Safety of household and similar electrical appliances. Secretariat duties for TC 61 are performed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), an ANSI member and audited designator. UL also serves as the U.S. National Committee (USNC)-approved U.S. TAG Administrator to TC 61.

While the popular image of New Year's resolutions revolves around health-focused goals, it's not uncommon for individuals to focus on making changes that will allow them to be better people. In keeping with that impulse, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed a series of standards that support organizations of all sizes and locations worldwide in their efforts to operate in a socially responsible fashion. ISO 26000:2010, Guidance for social responsibility, provides terms, concepts, and definitions in connection with social responsibility, as well as principles, practices, and guidance for bolstering a given group's social responsibility, with the goal of supporting its ability to continue operating in an effective manner. ISO 26000 is not a management system standard and should not be used for certification, regulatory, or contractual use.

Whether you're trying to slim down or make the world a better place, when it comes to New Year's Resolutions, voluntary consensus standards have your back.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]