Having an active friend may just do the trick in avoiding excess weight after a new study published in the journal Pediatrics said that children whose friends are physically active also tend to be physically active themselves.
The study was conducted by researchers from Vanderbilt University who interviewed 81 children of different races and all of whom went to after school programs. The students were asked the names of their friends and were also made to wear accelerometers in order to find out how active they were.
After observing for 12 weeks, the researchers found that the number of friends did not differ among active and sedentary students but they did adjust their activity levels to reflect that of their friends.
"These results suggest that friendship ties play a critical role in setting physical activity patterns in children as young as 5 to 12 years. Children's activity levels can be increased, decreased, or stabilized depending on the activity level of their immediate social network during a 12-week afterschool program", the researchers said.