Study conclusions continue to recommend that physical fitness is one way to help keep the brain healthy. The Harvard Business review reported on research led by Scott E. Carrell of UC Davis. Carrell and his team studied college students who were assigned to spend most of their time with 30 other randomly chosen undergraduates. The study concluded that poor levels of fitness tend to spread through peer groups. For example:
- Individuals may adopt the diet and exercise patterns of the least fit within a peer group
- Those most susceptible to being influenced by the least fit are those who are already struggling to maintain their fitness
- Your own fitness level would likely drop by nearly one fifth of a standard deviation if half of your friends were to become among the least fit (for reasons unrelated to you).
One takeaway? Choose your friends carefully. Their diet and exercise patterns may impact yours.