Sedentary lifestyle is an escalating national and global epidemic that has commanded increasing attention from health care professionals and social scientists.
Recent research on social contagion has demonstrated significant effects of network topology on the dynamics of diffusion. However, network topologies are not given a priori.
The strength of weak ties is that they tend to be long—they connect socially distant locations, allowing information to diffuse rapidly. The authors test whether this “strength of weak ties” generalizes from simple to complex contagions.
Harnessing the new opportunity offered by social media, our research pioneered the use of online technologies to investigate the effects of social structure on the spread of health behaviors.