The conversations of life

Guess what? Men are competitive – in exercise

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If you’ve ever thought your partner only hits the treadmill because his friends do, you’d be right.

A new US study has discovered knowing how far, fast and long other runners ran for, when shared on social media, can influence a person’s running habits – especially for men.

Using fitness tracker data posted by more than one million runners over five years, the researchers found that if one person ran ten minutes longer on any given day, their friends would add an extra three minutes to their run, even in bad weather.

The same was true for speed — if one runner increased their speed, the others would match the faster pace.

This was particularly true for men, who reported being more influenced by “social support” in their exercise than women who were more motivated by self-regulation and individual planning.

Lead author Dr Sinan Aral said: “Moreover, men may be more competitive and specifically more competitive with each other” (no surprise there!)

So the take-away – if you want your partner to get off the couch, make sure he tells his friends on Facebook.

Jill Donaldson

A practising aged care physiotherapist for the past 13 years, Jill has worked in more than 50 metropolitan and regional aged care homes. She has also toured care facilities across the US and Africa. She is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff that serve them.


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