Influence Your Spouse to Exercise: Monkey See…

Exploring Intensity

Influence Your Spouse to Exercise: Monkey See…

While we all know the trope of the wife or husband that seems to expertly tune out their significant other, there is a new study that shows when it comes to physical fitness, actions are far more persuasive than words.

First off, this NY Times article notes a lot of earlier studies that outline some workout habits you may not know about. For example, it says that single men and women exercise more than married couples, but men hit the gym more than women if there’s a divorce. Also, mothers (not surprisingly) exercise less than women without kids. But dads do well until they have a second child, and then they exercise far, far less. But one fascinating study examines how we influence our SO’s based our own dedication to exercise - apparently works better than nagging.

A look at 3,000 middle-aged married couples, many of them answering questionnaires about themselves for over 25 years, shows that the person you share your life with can have a pretty big influence on your habits, including how much or little you exercise. The older a couple gets – the more likely they will sync up their exercise regimens. If a questionnaire showed a couple with dissimilar exercise habits, they would usually sync up to the same frequency level within SIX years.

Men were more likely (70%) than women (40%) to pay attention to their partners’ habits, but it’s still enough on both sides to show that if you are concerned about your SO’s health, you can probably have the most success by setting a good example.