Living with your partner is bad for your fitness. Being married is even worse. Here’s why your will to move gets smaller once you live happily ever after.
I’m Sexy And I…
Now don’t take this as a reason to live in solitary confinement, but relationships don’t really improve your will to get fitter.
That’s according to a study done at Germany’s Institute for Economic Research (who seem to have a very wide area of interest). They analyzed data from 11,000 men and women who participated in a long-term research project where they answered questions about income, health, education etc.
No matter if people lived in separated places or shared a flat or house: they did less fitness when they were in a relationship than during the time they were singles.
Exchanging the rings makes it worst: the least physically active were those who were married. Which explains the results of 2009 study, that estimated married couples were three times more likely to be obese than singles.
…Don’t Need To Anymore
Having less time due to being in a relationship isn’t the culprit, the German researchers say. Even when that factor was accounted for, singles did more fitness.
They say the answer to all this lies in what’s called the “marriage market hypothesis.” This theory, that comes to us via social psychology, states that the more stable a relationship is, the less need the people in it see to stay attractive. The goal to find a partner has been reached and the urge to stay fit becomes much less pressing.
It’s backed by my experiences from running this site. One of the main forces driving guys to seek my advice and build muscle is to be attractive to girls. Girls, on the other hand, most often come here because they want to lose weight to be more attractive to guys.
On the positive side, the German data also showed that men in their middle 50s improve their fitness level. Probably due to their worried partners urging them to do something about their health. The reverse, however, is not true for women: their fitness level during marriage steadily drops up to old age.
Are You Married And Have Reason To Worry?
A little devil in me poses another question: if you and your partner are younger than 50, and he or she develops a sudden interest in fitness, is that a sign of a “Dear John / Jane” letter on the horizon?
Picture courtesy of Tony Nguyen.