New Study Says Group Fitness is Best


A new study finds that group exercise reduces stress more than solo workouts do. As a matter of fact, group exercise participants experience a 26% reduction in stress and improved mental, physical and emotional quality of life.

The more, the merrier.

Researchers found working out in a group lowers stress by 26 percent and significantly improves quality of life, while those who exercise individually put in more effort but experienced no significant changes in their stress level and a limited improvement to quality of life, according to a study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

“The communal benefits of coming together with friends and colleagues and doing something difficult, while encouraging one another, pays dividends beyond exercising alone,” said Dayna Yorks, DO, lead researcher on this study. “The findings support the concept of a mental, physical and emotional approach to health that is necessary for student doctors and physicians.”

Medical students are known for having high stress levels, high anxiety and a self-reported low quality of life. Dr. York and fellow researchers at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicinerecruited 69 medical students and allowed them to self-select into a 12-week exercise program, either within a group setting or as individuals. A control group abstained from exercise other than walking or biking as a means of transportation.

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