12.08.2010

Peer Pressure Can Be a Good Thing

You normally hear of peer pressure being a negative thing, but according to new research, a little influence from your friends can be a good thing when your friends are healthy and fit. Published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, a study of 3610 Australian women found that physical activity and healthy eating behavior were both strongly affected by social norms.

Researchers even go so far to say that healthy behavior may be contagious, and that there is a need for investigation to see if there's a way to modify social norms as an intervention lever for promoting physical activity and healthy eating. This is one of the first studies to demonstrate the association of both social support and social norms with physical activity and eating behaviors.

Are your friends healthy? Tell us about it in the comments!

Photo courtesy of Gwennypics on Flickr.