Study of the Day: Peer Pressure Linked to Exercise in Kids

According to research in Pediatrics, active friends can make us more active.

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Peer pressure doesn't lead only to smoking, drinking and crazy sex parties. According to a new study from Pediatrics, it can also get kids to exercise more.

The research, led by Sabina Gesell of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, tracked kids age five through 12. According to Time, she found that "hanging out with active peers may lead kids to exercise more, making a child’s social network a potential vehicle for promoting healthy habits and reducing obesity."

As the magazine reports:

During the time the children spent in the program, the strongest factor influencing how much time they spent engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity was the activity level of their four to six closest friends. In fact, children changed their exercise level about 10% to better match those in their circle; children who hung out with more active students were more likely to increase their physical activity levels, while those who befriended more sedentary children became less active.

Read more here.

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About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.