Study finds finding a competitive edge is a great fitness motivator

It's well known that a lack of physical activity increases the risk of chronic illness and other health side effects.

National Center for Health has found that 69% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 failed to meet the federal guidelines for physical activity in 2014. The statistics are similar to other Western Cultures.

A study conducted by Jingwen Zhang Ph.D involved 790 students from the University of Pennsylvania who signed up for the 11 week program. The exercise program included running, spinning, yoga and weightlifting and also provided fitness training and nutrition advice. All this was managed via a website created by the researches.

The participants were divided into 4 groups of 6 people. The four groups were as follows:

Support team - could chat online via the website to encourage each other
Competition team - could see a leaderboard of how well other teams did and were provided with rewards based on attendance
Support and Competition team - could provide supprt for each other, see the leaderboard and provided with rewards
Control Group - no social contectivity to the website

The results showed that attendance rates were 90% higher in the competition teams compared to the other non-competitive groups.

The final attendance rate break up of the groups were as follows:

Support team - 16.8
Competition team - 35.7
Support and Competition team - 38.5
Control Group -  20.3

Not difficult to see that the competition with support team had the best attendance rate and as we know half the battle is turning up.

As we have discussed in other posts group training is a great way to continue an exercise program but having the added competitive edge thrown in makes it a powerful way to get fit and more importantly staying fit!

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