Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Power of a Positive Social Group

Christakis and Fowler say, they have for the first time found some solid basis for a potentially powerful theory in epidemiology: that good behaviors — like quitting smoking or staying slender or being happy — pass from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses. The Framingham participants, the data suggested, influenced one another’s health just by socializing. And the same was true of bad behaviors — clusters of friends appeared to “infect” each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking. Staying healthy isn’t just a matter of your genes and your diet, it seems. Good health is also a product, in part, of your sheer proximity to other healthy people.

Click the text above to go to a recent NYTIMES magazine article about the power of community to create healthy habits. Empirically we have observed this for years and it's the idea behind creating Street Soccer teams. Designing programs with these ideas in mind REALLY DO CHANGE BEHAVIOR and for all the right reasons. Let put the knowledge to practice! Comments and thoughts are welcome here.


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