Social Support Helps Students to Exercise More: StudyDiet & Fitness

August 09, 2019 18:15
Social Support Helps Students to Exercise More: Study

No matter what we wish to do, a little motivation from peers is of no harm. Similarly, a recent study found that a little encouragement to students from family and friends makes them turn exercising and physical activities a routine.

An Indian origin Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi, Vinayak K. Nahar, said: "Accessing internal and external sources of inspiration and resilience is an effective and sustainable model for positive change.”

"Physicians who want to encourage their patients to get more physical activity should suggest the techniques from this study," he added.

For the study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, researchers held surveys on 135 college students, evaluating their willingness to exercise for the suggested 150 minutes per week.

The students were asked to weigh advantages, like improved energy and health, against perceived drawbacks, like being tired and not having adequate time for leisure or academics.

The research team said: “Once convinced that more exercise would benefit them, students were asked what they needed to get started. The single most significant factor was behavioral confidence which involves visualization of future performance and external sources of confidence like an encouraging mentor.”

According to the survey, respondents indicated that keeping up the weekly 150 minutes of exercise would ask the support of family and friends, as well as an emotional shift, in which students would use physical exercise as an outlet for stressors.

Respondents also said that social changes like making friends who also exercise regularly would improve their ability to persist.

"Nearly half of all adults in the United States do not engage in the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week. This basic lack of exercise is tied to myriad health problems, so it is important to address it early," said study lead author Manoj Sharma, Professor at the Jackson State University.

By Sowmya Sangam

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