Group Workouts Boost Physical, Mental, Emotional Well-Being

Communal fitness works wonders.

Need to know: A study of gym-goers revealed the benefits of exercising in a social setting.

  • The sense of belonging derived from group sessions positively impacted well-being and life satisfaction more than participation frequency.
  • Individuals identifying as part of the group were more engaged, connected, and enjoyed sessions more than low-identifiers.

Researchers also credit social workouts with building meaningful relationships, which boost enthusiasm for participation and help combat isolation.

Come together. These findings build on previous evidence in support of IRL fitness.

  • Regular group running sessions are as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety.
  • Group exercise participants see greater physical, mental, and emotional health improvement than solo exercisers who work out twice as long.
  • Exercisers report an in-person class is 13% more enjoyable—delivering a 14% higher average heart rate—than the same class taken digitally.

Social fitness. Nothing new, community is a central tenet of fitness. But, as we confront countless epidemics, from loneliness to mental health to obesity, it’s important to expand focus beyond the physical.

Punchline: The holistic health effects of communal workouts are undeniable, yet undersold. Shifting the conversation, everyone—from gym operators to wellness brands to public health officials—should make the far-reaching rewards central to their pitch.

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