In two experimental studies, we investigated mechanisms hypothesized to underpin two pervasive and interrelated phenomena: that certain forms of group movement and exercise lead to social bonding and that social bonding can lead to enhanced exercise performance. In Study 1, we manipulated synchrony and exercise intensity among rowers and found that, compared with low intensity exercise, moderate intensity exercise led to significantly higher levels of cooperation in an economic game; no effect of synchrony vs. non-synchrony was found. In Study 2, we investigated the effects of bonding on performance, using synchrony as a cue of existing supportive social bonds among participants. An elite, highly bonded team of rugby players participated in solo, synchronized, and non-synchronized warm-up sessions; participants' anaerobic performance significantly improved after the brief synchronous warm-up relative to the non-synchronous warm-up. The findings substantiate claims concerning the reciprocal links between group exercise and social bonding, and may help to explain the ubiquity of collective physical activity across cultural domains as varied as play, ritual, sport, and dance.
Thursday, November 03, 2016
Social motion, social bonds, and exercise.
Davis et al. note how bodies moving in synchrony perform beyond the sum of their individual parts.