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Older Couples Influence Each Other to Make Positive Health Changes

January 31, 2015

Both men and women are more likely to become physically active, lose weight, and quite smoking if their parter joins them in the new behavior. According to the new study recently published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Journal, the difference is significant! 

66 percent of senior women exercise if their husband do and only 24 percent of senior women exercise if their husbands do not. 

Sarah E. Jackson, Ph.D., of University College London, England, and coauthors investigated  the influence of a partner’s behavior on making positive health behavior changes. 

Her team found that when one partner improved their behavior the other partner was much more likely to make a positive behavior change than if their partner remained unhealthy.

The changes Dr. Jackson and her team measured:


Stop Smoking:

Men: 48 percent vs. 8 percent

Women: 50 percent vs. 8 percent


Increased Physical Activity:

Men: 67 percent vs. 26 percent

Women: 66 percent vs. 24 percent 


Weight Loss:

Men: 26 percent vs. 10 percent

Women: 36 percent vs. 15 percent


For more online information and resources visit Live Oak's health resources section

And for more current studies and articles visit Live Oak's blog here

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