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Stanford Medicine

Health and Fitness, Media

Social media may improve participation in health programs

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I tried to make running a few times a week part of my personal exercise program for years. I found that adherence to this goal significantly improved when I convinced a friend to join me for the early morning jaunts.

Interestingly, researchers providing Internet-based health programs are finding that this peer motivation technique works well online too. According to an article in Healthcare IT News:

Caroline Richardson, MD, associate professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, and her colleagues found that adding an interactive online community to an Internet-based walking program significantly decreased the number of participants who dropped out.

Program results showed that 79 percent of participants who used online forums to motivate each other stuck with the 16-week program. Only 66 percent of those who used a version of the site without the social components completed the program.

More details on how social media can boost participation in health programs are available in the full article.

Photo by ArdonLXXXIII

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