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A new study has shown that physical [activity / active] and exercise are 'contagious' because [for / of] social media. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) [discovery / discovered] that people who post details of their exercise patterns and achievements [in / on] social media sites motivate and [encourage / encouragement] other people to be more active. Researchers [tracked / tracking] the exercise routines of 1.1 million runners over a period of five years. They looked at the [geography / geographic] location of the runners, their social network use, [distant / distance] , time, pace and the calories they burned. The researchers concluded that sharing personal exercise data via social media can inspire [other / others] to exercise more, exercise harder and do so more [competition / competitively] .

The journal 'Nature Communications' has [published / publication] the research. The study includes [detailed / details] accounts of how inspiring it can be to read about a friend's physical activity. Researchers said: "[On / In] average, an additional kilometre run by friends can inspire someone to run an [addition / additional] three-tenths of a kilometre, and an additional ten minutes run by friends can inspire someone to run three minutes [lengthen / longer] ." The study said social media [improve / improved] the performance of runners [who / that] had been a little slower or less [in / on] shape, and of those who were showing signs [of / off] overtaking a friend's performance. Researcher Sinan Aral said: "In general, if you run more, it is [likely / liked] that you can cause your friends to run more."

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