Life can change fast sometimes. And for some of us it can go rather slow. But if you are a sedentary person, there is good news. Per a new mathematical model developed by a group of researchers, active friends are a critical factor in increasing our physical activity. The model may help explain why, despite widely known health benefits, we do not appear to be meeting the recommended amount of weekly exercise. While this might not make time change, it will sure help us improve our health.
The researchers discovered that a complete lack of social influence leads to long-term sedentary lifestyle and even a decrease in physically active populations. The most significant element encouraging largely inactive people to become and stay physically active was social interactions among both sedentary and moderately active groups. In contrast, social interactions that encourage moderately active people to become sedentary frequently result in the cessation of exercise routines.
The good news is that people that want to get back into shape may only require a more active friend. This information may also provide a new avenue for governments and organizations to strengthen public health programs by concentrating on community activities.
According to the new study, social interactions are an important factor in encouraging people to live more active lifestyles. According to the research, people are more likely to be active if they have active friends, and inactive people are more likely in becoming active if they make friends with active people.
The findings could have significant impact on public health policy, as they suggest that neighborhood initiatives may be more useful than other means of promoting physical activity.
A mathematical model was used in the study to simulate the spread of physical activity through social networks. The model demonstrated that even a comparatively tiny number of active people can have a significant impact on a population’s overall level of activity.
The results indicate that group physical activity initiatives may be more beneficial than individual-level measures.