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Fitness trackers and apps often give users the option to broadcast their latest run, ride, or gym sesh to their social media accounts. Many people take advantage of this option, therefore leaving an interesting data footprint that we can use to understand people’s fitness habits.
The data geeks at Spredfast, a social media management company, monitored tweets from various fitness trackers and apps for 2015, including Nike+, MapMyRun, Endomondo, Strava, and Runkeeper. They found several interesting patterns, including a notable dip in tweets about exercise on Thursday, December 17, which is the day that the Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie premiered. People tweeted 43 percent below the average number of tweets compared to other days.
But could it be a coincidence? Possibly. Overall, Spredfast found that people were the least active on social media on Thursdays.
Some people were able to see the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiere as early as 7pm on December 17, potentially leading some people to forgo their evening exercise routine to see the movie, according to Spredfast’s VP of Research and Analytics Chris Kerns. The proximity to the holidays may have played a role in the dip, he suggested, but it is worth noting that the day after the premiere did not show any notable decline in activity.
The data is open to interpretation but one thing is certain: Avid Star Wars fans are also people who tweet about their last run.
Photo via Health Gauge/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Cynthia McKelvey covered the health and science for the Daily Dot until 2017. She earned a graduate degree in science communication from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2014. Her work has appeared in Gizmodo, Scientific American Mind, and Mic.com.