Do you want to take up sport and plan to do your sessions as a couple? Big mistake! Indeed, according to a scientific study carried out in Singapore, it is better to exercise alone. Here’s why.
A friend, a sister or a spouse… To exercise more effectively, we tend to believe that we need a partner. If this is what you think too, get this idea out of your head: in reality, to get better results, it is better to exercise alone, especially from a certain age. And it’s science that says it!
A sporting activity is less well done with two people
Researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore studied a group of 240 participants aged 54 to 72. The volunteers were equipped with fitness trackers that recorded information such as heart rate, distance traveled, calories burned, minutes of activity as well as sleep data.
Objectives less well fulfilled
On average, participants who exercised with their partner took 10,441 steps per day compared to 11,372 steps per day for people who exercised individually.
The results also revealed that couples who exercised together spent more time being sedentary each day and met their daily goals no less frequently than those who exercised individually.
The analysis also found that over 12 weeks, those who exercised as a couple had a lower average number of sessions than those who participated individually.
Good in his body, good in his head!
Doing more sport is more difficult among “old couples”
Lead author of the research, Dr Sapphire Lin, explains: “The average participant in our study is 60 years old and has been married and living with the same spouse for 30 years. This suggests that study participants have well-established routines that don’t necessarily include exercising with their spouse. For these couples, changing daily habits might require a major overhaul of habits and routines established after years of marriage. This makes it difficult to incorporate exercise and could lead to a demotivating effect.”
For these couples, increasing their level of physical activity requires more significant lifestyle changes, which is, as we know, difficult to implement.
Researchers therefore recommend that they focus on an activity to be practiced individually. “Our research suggests that older adults looking to introduce exercise into their lifestyles may find it more effective to focus on changing their own routines rather than trying to exercise as a couple and seeking to impose changes on their partner” they conclude.