It’s official – there’s nothing like a bit of friendly rivalry. Research has proven that competition is the best source of motivation when it comes to exercising more. Bearing this in mind, how can online gym management software help personal trainers and gym managers to inspire clients to become healthier?
Competition is the key to fitness
According to a new study from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Healthy competition can motivate people to exercise more than friendly support, and online social networks play a key role in this process.
Researchers wanted to discover what online social dynamics motivated people most when it came to being physically active. Participants were divided into four groups, each one given a different source of motivation: individual competition, team competition, team support, and a control group that received neither.
The results showed that participants in competitive groups were most motivated to exercise every week, with attendance rates 90 percent higher than in the control group. Both team and individual competition drove participants to exercise at around the same rate.
“Framing the social interaction as a competition can create positive social norms for exercising,” explains Jingwen Zhang, lead author of the study.
Group competition in particular boosts physical activity levels within an entire peer group. As each person’s activity raises the bar for the rest of the group, it creates a chain reaction.
In contrast, giving people too much support via social media was actually found to sabotage the enthusiasm of participants. For example, if one person in a ‘supportive group’ stopped exercising, it implied to the group that it’s OK to stop exercising. As a result, the number of weekly workouts by the team support group were even lower than the control group.
The results were clear – friendly competition works better than supportive camaraderie.
The researchers also stressed that the benefits of healthy social competition go beyond exercise. Competition can encourage positive behaviours such as voting, recycling, and lowering energy consumption, and behavioural changes like weight loss, medication compliance, diabetes control and smoking cessation.
Everyone’s a winner, baby
This isn’t such a big surprise, really. I’m sure that most of us follow certain ‘fitspo’ Instagram accounts precisely for this reason. Seeing someone else #yogaeverydamnday can inspire us to do the same, and encourage us to track our own progress.
Similarly, the success of Fitbit is largely down to the software’s ability to gather and analyse activity data from thousands of users, allowing individuals to work towards personal health and fitness goals, as well as compete with other users on broader goals such as daily steps.
This determination comes across mostly clearly in competitive sports. Whether it’s a marathon, a rugby match or game of mini golf, it’s natural to become competitive and up your performance in response to your opponents’.
So how can the fitness industry best utilise online social networks to increase an individual’s motivation to exercise and improve their fitness levels?
Membr’s online gym management software
Online gym management software can provide the perfect platform for personal trainers and gym owners looking to connect with clients and create a little competition.
Membr provides industry-leading online gym management software to businesses all around the world, connecting fitness professionals to clients through their smartphone.
Gym staff can use Membr’s software to communicate with members , set personalised fitness goals for them, send out marketing emails and even manage payments and schedules. In turn, clients can use Membr to contact their personal trainer, organise class bookings and access tailored workout plans that will help them to meet their goals.
Contact us today, and discover more about how our online gym management software can help your fitness professionals to inspire clients towards a healthier lifestyle.