NOV 21, 2017 08:36 AM PST

Exercise is Contagious


Many things are contagious. Chicken pox, measles, and even exercise. Exercise? Yes, it's true. The concept of "exercise contagion" is a thing. Researchers wanted to know if exercise habits were contagious in a social sense. In other words, if you saw on Facebook that your friend ran three miles, would you be inspired to go out and run four miles? Mostly, yes, that is pretty much what happens.

Data from runners who checked into global social networks via apps or fitness trackers was analyzed, and while there are some factors that impacted exercise like weather or work obligations, overall, people are more likely to exercise if their friends are also working out. The reasons behind that are not entirely clear. Sometimes looking at the behavior of someone who is doing more can inspire others to do more. Conversely looking at the miles logged by those who are doing less, can spur more exercise as a way to maintain superiority. Whatever the specific motivation, it really does pay to hang around with people that exercise, if you want to up your fitness game. The effect was stronger in men than in women, but was definitely apparent in both sexes.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
SEP 23, 2018
Videos
SEP 23, 2018
Do our Genes Influence our Political Beliefs?
Scientists have been interested in understanding how our physiology shapes who we are for many years....
SEP 30, 2018
Microbiology
SEP 30, 2018
These Microscopic Things Elude Our Eyes Every Day
We take much of what we can see for granted, but if your eyes had the observational power of a microscope, you’d probably look at the world very diff...
OCT 03, 2018
Plants & Animals
OCT 03, 2018
These Weird Fish Live in Some of the Deepest Parts of the Ocean
While animal researchers are reasonably well-rounded about the types of species residing at mild depths, we still have a lot to learn about what inhabits t...
OCT 05, 2018
Videos
OCT 05, 2018
What is Site-directed Mutagenesis?
Site-directed mutagenesis is a common tool in the molecular laboratory. But someone had to pioneer it first....
OCT 09, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 09, 2018
Putting the Mars 2020 Rover Together - Behind the Scenes
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know by now that NASA’s planning to send another rover to the Martian surface to investigate...
OCT 15, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 15, 2018
Picking a Landing Site On Mars is No Easy Task
When space agencies like NASA send landers and rovers to other places in the solar system to explore, one of the most challenging questions they’re c...
Loading Comments...