Having trouble sticking to that New Year’s Resolution? The answer can be as close as the other side of the bed. Apparently people are better at creating or breaking habits when done with their mates. That’s according to a new study by University College London published in JAMA Internal Medicine,
Using data from 3,722 married or cohabiting couples taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, the study examined the influence of a partner’s on making positive health behavior changes such as smoking cessation, increased physical activity, and 5% weight loss or greater.
The study found that people are more likely to be successful making a positive health behavior change if their partner does too, and with a stronger effect than if the partner had been consistently healthy in that domain. Involving partners in behavior change interventions may therefore help improve outcomes.
Dr Sarah Jackson, lead author of the study at UCL, said: “Now is the time to make New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking, take exercise, or lose weight. And doing it with your partner increases your chances of success.”