Mind + Health

When we run, oth­ers fol­low in our foot­steps. It’s a so­cial thing

Runner's World (UK) - - IN THIS ISSUE -

How our run­ning en­cour­ages oth­ers to take up the sport

IT’S OF­FI­CIAL: run­ning is catch­ing. Af­ter a five-year study1 of the habits of more than one mil­lion run­ners who shared data on­line, re­searchers at MIT in Bos­ton, US, have found that when we run, we in­spire oth­ers to do the same. It’s known as ‘so­cial con­ta­gion’. On av­er­age, ev­ery 10 min­utes we clock up in­spires those in our so­cial net­work to run an ad­di­tional three min­utes them­selves, while ev­ery 0.01km/ min in­crease in our pace mo­ti­vates them to speed up by 0.003km/min. The study found we are in­spired the most by those slightly faster or slower than our­selves.

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