Thousands of people are trying to revolutionize the way we think about health, exercise and happiness. Actor and comedian Kevin Hart is one of these people. He has teamed up with the wellness app Rally Health to motivate the masses to get healthy. And it might be working.
Via Twitter, he recently invited all of Boston to run a “spontaneous 5K” with him. His late night tweet invitation went out to anyone interested in meeting at Chestnut Hill Reservoir the next morning for a run.
Considering that only 20 percent of American adults meet the physical activity guidelines, most of us need a good dose of exercise motivation. And it looks like Hart has some motivational power: Nearly 300 people showed up for the self-dubbed “Historic Kevin Hart 5K Run.” That’s an impressive number, given how hard it is to get people to exercise. In fact, we are at a historical low regarding how little we move, with most of us spending more than seven hours a day sitting.
Kevin Hart has some science to support the effectiveness of providing social support networking via social media (such as apps, Facebook, Twitter) to encourage people to exercise. For example, research published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health examined whether a Facebook social support group could increase the number of steps per day among college freshmen.
The students were randomized to either a Facebook social support group or a standard walking group for eight weeks. The women in both groups received weekly step goals, and they tracked their steps per day with a pedometer. Women in the Facebook social support group also posted information about their steps per day and provided feedback to one another.
The researchers found that women in the Facebook social support group increased their walking by about 1.5 miles per day more than women in the standard walking intervention. This is an impressive difference that could have a big impact on the women’s health if they stick with it.
For Kevin Hart, staying in shape is no joke. He takes his health and wellness seriously – and he’s using his massive social media platform to get people moving. I look forward to the number of people Hart can get out to his next spontaneous 5K.