About Careers MedBlog Contact us

Internet, Social Media Friends can Motivate to Make You More Fit

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on October 9, 2015 at 9:44 AM
Font : A-A+

 Internet, Social Media Friends can Motivate to Make You More Fit

Internet and social media can be more effective for improving people's exercise habits than promotional advertisements, revealed a new study by researchers from University of Pennsylvania. The findings suggest that 'Health buddies' on Facebook can actually inspire you to hit the gym or motivate you to do yoga in the neighborhood park, resulting in a new, fitter you.

Led by Professor Damon Centola, the research team tested a fitness motivator that can be more effective and vastly cheaper than promotions. In a trial, the team created a website where 217 graduate students enrolled in free exercise classes at the University gym.


Part of the study group received promotional messages from the University, including highly engaging motivational videos and infographics emphasizing fitness tips and the importance of exercise. Meanwhile, the other group saw no advertising messages, but these members were placed into social networks with six of their peers.

Although these peer groups remained anonymous to one another, participants were regularly updated on each others' fitness achievements. They could monitor each others' progress through the website. If any person signed up for a weightlifting or yoga class, the others in the group were notified by email.

As a control group for the two interventions, a third group of study participants received no further follow-up through the study. By the end of the 13-week study, researchers observed that promotional messages caused an initial bump in class attendance but the motivational effects soon wore off. This intervention had almost no long-term effect on class participation.

Centola said, "Health buddies, on the other hand, were much more effective at motivating people to exercise." Jingwen Zhang, an author on the study, added, "We were able to use the positive signals to form a reinforcing loop that pushed everyone to exercise more. The results reveal that same positive behavior signals are also powerful in our online networks and can be harnessed for the social good. This approach could be applied not only to encourage exercise, but also to promote vaccinations, medication compliance and preventative care."

The study was published in Preventive Medicine Reports.

Source: IANS


Recommended Reading

Latest Lifestyle News

Prejuvenation can Help You Say Goodbye to Aging Skin
Prejuvenation could be the new skincare trend for anti-aging. Let's stay prejuvenated to stay young forever.
Walk a Mile to Get Rid of Blood Clots
Want to prevent blood clots? Then, start walking a mile for just 15 minutes every day to keep Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) at bay.
 Choosing The Right Shoe Can Keep You Healthy
An expert emphasizes the importance of choosing the right footwear for a healthy life and shares insights on selecting the right shoes for optimal overall well-being.
Power of Parental Bonds: Strong Relationships Linked to Better Health for Young Adults!
Strong parental relationships improve long-term health outcomes in adolescents, according to a new study.
Power of Spirituality in Balancing Work and Life
Understand the insights and practices of how spirituality can help you balance work and life.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Internet, Social Media Friends can Motivate to Make You More Fit Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests