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