Miércoles, 26 Setiembre, 2018

Turns Out Exercise Is Contagious. Especially Among Women

Study: Exercise May Be Contagious Sharing Workout Results With Your Friends Pushes You to Exercise Even Harder
Cris De Lacerda | 20 Abril, 2017, 15:13

Women tend only to be motivated to exercise more with other women but men are inspired by either sex, the United States researchers found. In all, the group analyzed the fitness tracker data of 1.1 million people, who ran a collective 350 million kilometers in the span of five years.

"On the same day, on average, an additional kilometer run by friends can inspire someone to run an additional three-tenths of a kilometer and an additional ten minutes run by friends can inspire someone to run three minutes longer", the authors wrote.

The findings were stark - an additional kilometer run by a user's friends influenced them to run an additional third of a kilometer, and an additional kilometer per minute run by friends pushed them to run an additional 0.3 kilometers per minute faster than usual.

"Runners are more influenced by peers whose performance is slightly worse, but not far worse, than their own as well as by those who perform slightly better, but not far better, than they do", Aral and Nicolaides added. More calories burned for one runner would mean more calories burned for his or her friends. Influence among same sex pairs is strong while influence among mixed sex pairs is weaker. "But men do not influence women at all".

A new research of exercise behaviors of over one million people revealed that running can be contagious. For starters, numerous studies are survey-based and rely on accurate self-reporting, which is something we are notoriously bad at.

Less active runners have greater influence on more active runners than the other way around - perhaps because "downward comparisons", the ones we make to those lagging behind us, provoke "competitive behaviour to protect one's superiority". Plus, people who are geographically close are likely to be impacted by the same outside influences.

Additionally, the researchers found differences among genders. And instead of using self-reported data, they looked at information that was automatically uploaded via the fitness trackers.