Ever wonder whether a gym buddy could make you exercise more? Researchers at the University of Aberdeen wondered the same and decided to carry out a study to figure this out.
It turned out that finding an exercise companion increased the amount of exercise that people took. The amount of exercise was increased even more when the partner was emotionally supportive.
The Aberdeen researchers gathered the data by asking half of the participants to find a “gym buddy” and the other half continued with their normal routine. The results showed that the group who found an exercise partner exercised more than those who followed their regular exercise routine.
The researchers were also interested in what qualities make a good exercise partner. They asked participants to rate how supportive their partners are and what kind of support was most effective. They divided support into two types, emotional and instrumental. They found that people exercised more when their companion offered emotional support and encouragement and rather than practical support like never missing a session.
We all know that human are social animals. It seems that the gym setting is no exception.
Thanks for reading.
Journal Reference: Pamela Rackow, Urte Scholz, Rainer Hornung. Received social support and exercising: An intervention study to test the enabling hypothesis. British Journal of Health Psychology, 2015; 20 (4): 763 DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12139
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