Fitness trackers, peer pressure. peer performance, all of these might have impact your exercise behavior. “Theories of social comparisons indicate that we motivate our own behaviors by comparing ourselves to our friends, family, and peers,” notes Sinan Aral, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Aral was the lead author of a large-scale study of 1.1 million runners across the globe over five years to discover what influences people’s exercise patterns. It seems that the competitive spirit of athletes transcends distances between friends who exercise and even the weather.
Participants used fitness trackers, uploaded their data, and of course shared that data on news feeds and social media with their friends. Then, the researchers cross-referenced their workouts with global weather data.
The researchers discoverd that, “even in nasty weather, if one person ran longer or faster on any given day, their friends would follow suit. They also leaned that men were influenced by the performance of both female and male friends, while women were influenced only by other women’s performance.”
When you see someone’s WOD on the whiteboard or MEPS on the screen, are you motivated to push yourself harder? Do you believe in the power of peer pressure, especially when it comes to CrossFit?