Friday, October 29, 2010

How you Friends Impact you Health

Now, in the past, before I learned about “the power of social networks”, I would have thought of this as “just some people – who share my passion for martial arts, health and fitness ect.”

However, I now realize that the description above doesn’t really capture what’s going on. By getting together, we’re actually using one of the most powerful life-changing tools available to us.

The Hidden Influence of Social Networks

In the video, Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a pioneer in the field of health and social networks, talks about the extremely powerful (and virtually hidden) influence that our social network exerts on our actions, attitudes, and – ultimately – who we become.

He even goes so far as to demonstrate that our own body size (as well as our happiness in life) is strongly influenced by our friends. Check it out and get prepared to be blown away:

When watching this video even I was amazed at how far-reaching and powerful this social network effect really is.

I mean, I can understand this relationship where if our friends are obese we have a 45% higher chance of being obese ourselves. However, it’s crazy to think that even our friends’ friends – and our friends’ friends’ friends – can impact our likelihood of obesity too.

In addition, it’s really fascinating to me that not only our body size – but our attitudes and actions, even our very own happiness – is part of a collective set of attitudes and actions shared by the people that we know and the people that they know.

Harnessing The Power of Social Support

If the people you spend the most time with are critical in your own growth and development as a person – as well as your own attitude toward everything from the food you eat, to the exercise you choose, to the hobbies you spend your time on – if you want to improve something about yourself, it’s probably important to consider your social network in the equation.

Because, here’s the good news. If sickness, obesity, and unhappiness are all contagious – so are health, leanness, and happiness. And by including more healthy, lean, and happy people into your social network, your chances of improving the way you look, feel, and perform will skyrocket.

If you ask me, that’s a pretty cool thing.

1 comment:

Shahbaz said...

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