Healthy Habits Can Rub-Off on Your Partner

Healthy lifestyle changes are best done with a partner. For couples, a recent study has found that when one half of an unhealthy pair starts to make a change for the better, the other half was more likely to follow.

Couples who exercise together tend to stay on their regimen, past studies have shown. But is that because healthy people attract others who share their interests? Michelle Roberts from the BBC highlights a recent study that sought to find out if unhealthy couples would make the same changes to better their health and wellness.


The study took cohabiting couples who had one or more unhealthy habits from smoking to under-exercising. The researchers tracked their behavior for over four years, noting if any of the pairs started exercising more, losing weight, or quitting smoking.

They found that when one half of a couple starting to make a change for the better, the other was likely to follow. Of course, it also helped if one of the two was already healthy. Researchers noted that this arrangement would help to spark change in the other, who may not be as fit. In their study, the researchers provided an example, citing that a smoker was twice as likely to quit if their partner wasn't a smoker. But the rate rose in situations where both people were smokers and one decided to quit--in those cases other person was 10 times more likely to quit alongside their partner.

Similar results were also reported among less-active couples where one was fit and the other was not as much. The lazier of the two was likely to become motivated to exercise more, but not as much as couples who were both lazy. It would seem seeing someone start from the same point as yourself is an even better motivator to inspire change, and Dr. Sarah Jackson, one of the researchers on the study, explained to the BBC how these results could help inform the public:

 "This is important because it shows that if you can target couples or encourage people to involve their partners they may be more likely to succeed. Having the support of someone close seems to help."

Read more at BBC

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Love in a time of migrants: on rethinking arranged marriages

Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.

Culture & Religion

In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.

Keep reading Show less