September 20, 2018

Most people spend their time in just 25 places (choose them wisely)

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We spend most of our lives in 25 places, and there are good reasons for it being so.

Research established ‘Dunbar Number', being the maximum amount of solo relationships any one person can have at a time.

In conclusion of this research, your brain can only handle 150 friends at once, the research following wanted to determine whether the same applied to our ties to places.

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The initial study started small, with 850 college participants, tracking their movements for 2 years.

They mapped their movements during the day via GPS and WIFI traces.

The results were enough to spark a larger study that included ~40 000 participants from all over the world, with diverse lifestyles and again the results were the same.



After they analyzed the data and although they visited new places, the majority of the time was spent in 25 places.

Andrea Baronchelli, study co-author and researcher in the Department of Mathematics at City, University of London, commented:

“People are constantly balancing their curiosity and laziness.

We want to explore new places but also want to exploit old ones that we like.

We found that this dynamic yields an unexpected result: We visit a constant, fixed number of places--and it's not due to lack of time.”


We incorporate new places into our lives all the time.

As we abandon some places for others there would be a few interesting places where only a few people have set foot on. These places can be found here.


Where we spend most of our time can have a big impact on our lives because our environment shapes our mindset, our behavior.


Companies like Amazon, Google, and Pixar invest in developing creative environments to increase productivity.

This could also have implications on how governments handle disease epidemics, how cities are designed, and other structural puzzles.



For a more in-depth look at new aspects of human behavior, follow this link to read an article published by John Stevenson, City University London.

Behind the project are two researchers from the Mathematical Department at City, University of London, and elaborate on the study and findings.