Can Peer Pressure Force You To Exercise?


Image from: Running Image / Shutterstock

Right about now, I really have no excuse not to go for a run outside. It is a beautiful day, perfect for running, and with summer approaching I should be preparing to be in a bathing suit. Coincidentally, Mashable published an article today about social fitness apps and questioned whether the social aspect of these websites and apps will make users more likely to exercise. In January, we discussed New Year’s Resolutions and mentioned that many people publicly tweet their weight loss goals in the hopes of sticking to their new diets. I checked the Compete data to see if the same principle applied to fitness goals.

First, I checked the UVs to RunKeeper, a service that allows you to track your runs online or through their mobile app.

UVs to RunKeeperRunKeeper has seen pretty substantial traffic over the past 2 years; they average about 67,000 unique visitors each month which is impressive seeing that they experience expected drops in traffic around the holidays. In the Mashable article, RunKeeper founder Jason Jacobs attributed their success to the shareable nature of run information tracked on the app. He says, “If you stop and walk halfway, people will know. If you finish strong, people will know. Whether a million people see it or nobody sees it, just the perception people will see it is accountability.”

Looking into the search referrals to RunKeeper’s site is also interesting, as “runkeeper foursquare badge” is the 6th most popular search term, driving 2.83% of referral traffic to the site. Reinforcing the notion that users are interested in publicly displaying their fitness goals.

Daily Search referrals to runkeeper.comHave any of you tried RunKeeper or a similar service? Did the social aspect force you to run faster or harder? In my experience, what Jacobs said about his service was exactly right – knowing that my friends and family can see my time pushes me to keep going.

About Kendra Bissonnette:
Kendra comes to Compete to work in the Online Marketing department as the social media co-op. Kendra is currently a student at Northeastern studying Communications and Interactive Media. Find Kendra on Twitter @KNBissonnette.