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Fitness Community and Exercise Levels

Study shows the influence of friendship on physical activity.

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Fitness community

To increase involvement, fitness facility managers and group fitness directors may want to facilitate ways for members to develop a fitness community and stronger relationships with each other. Texas A&M University researchers in College Station, Texas, studied CrossFit® participants to better understand how the fitness community increases exercise participation.

Investigators found that participants with close-knit relationships had physical activity levels that were significantly associated (similar), but the same wasn’t true between members without such bonds. Researchers concluded that deeper connections with other members have the most influence on physical activity levels. “The similarity exhibited between members who are connected on a deeper level than simply working out at the same time implicates the need for enhanced social connection and social support in order for social influence to occur,” wrote the researchers in an article in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2022; 19, 4932).

See also: How To Create a Workout Community

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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