Human Behavior

Exercise can be contagious, new social network analysis finds

Exercise can be contagious, new social network analysis finds

Now here’s a contagion that might not be so bad to encounter. A new analysis of the running habits of about 1.1 million people reveals that exercise is indeed contagious — though its communicability depends on who’s spreading it.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, also reveal that certain relationships are better at spreading the running bug than others — and could have implications for the study of other social contagions, such as obesity and smoking.

In recent years, researchers in a wide range of fields — from economics and politics to medicine and computer science — have begun to investigate the ways in which many of our individual decisions...

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