MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) – If you want your workout buddy to improve, keep your mouth shut.
That’s the advice from researchers at Kansas State University and Michigan State University.
Assistant Kansas State kinesiology professor Brandon Irwin said in a news release that the initial hunch was that encouragement would be motivating. But the researchers found it had almost the opposite effect.
In the study, subjects were told they would be exercising with a partner, although the partner was a looped video recording.
Researchers found that people exercised the longest when working out with a partner who was better and wasn’t verbally encouraging. Irwin says the encouragement may have been perceived as condescending.
The findings are being published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Funding came from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.