Harvard Health Letter

Want to get healthier? Get your partner involved!

Plenty of research shows that we tend to exhibit the health behaviors of people around us, and that partners can influence each other's behavior. The influence carries even more weight if an unhealthy partner is making a change for the better. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine Jan. 19, 2015, found that men and women were much more likely to make positive changes if their partners also changed their health behavior during the same period. The influence on a partner was significant: 67% of men took up physical activity if their wives did, but only 26% became active if their wives did not. The take-home message: get your partner on board if you both need to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Image: Thinkstock

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »