05/08/2013 05:18 pm ET Updated May 10, 2013

Best Workout Partner Is A Silent Workout Partner, Study Finds


The best kind of workout partner is the kind that knows when to shut up, according to a new study.

Researchers from Kansas State University found that people were more inclined to work out for longer if they thought their workout buddy had a higher skill level, and if the workout buddy mostly kept quiet with the verbal encouragement.

"Initially, it made sense to us that encouragement would be motivating," study researcher Brandon Irwin, an assistant professor of kinesiology, said in a statement. "However, we found almost the opposite to be true. When exercising with someone who is slightly better and who is not verbally encouraging, participants exercised longer than if conditions were the same but that person was verbally encouraging them. We didn't expect that."

Their study, which will be published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, involved 115 people who worked out with a buddy via a video recording.

"If two individuals are exercising together and one is constantly saying 'you can do this' to the other, it may be taken as patronizing," Irwin added in the statement. "Those who received encouragement may have felt condescended, or even that their virtual partner was encouraging themselves, since no names were used."

What do you think? Do you prefer to exercise with a friend in silence, or are you more chatty? Tell us in the comments!



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