Call 413.540.1234 to
schedule an appointment
CONCERN/EAP: 413.534.2625
Billing questions? Call: 413.540.1212
CRISIS: 413.733.6661

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Which of the 4 New 'Personality Types' Are You?Slaying the Couch-Potato MindsetScientists Finally Get Around to Finding Procrastination's Home in the BrainFor a Healthier Heart, Stick to 6 to 8 Hours of SleepTake a Vacation, Your Heart Will Thank YouTaking a Stand at WorkCellphone Use Puts Pedestrians Off-BalanceSleep Deprivation May Play Role in 'Global Loneliness Epidemic'Dining Out With Smartphones Isn't AppetizingExercise Really Can Chase Away the Blues … to a PointSnap, Polish, Post: Why Selfies May Be Bad for Your HealthHealth Tip: Have a Safer SummerShield Yourself From the Summer SunIt's Hot Outside: How to Stay Safe When Thermometers Rise3-Pronged Approach to Cancer PreventionYour Sunscreen May Not Be as Protective as You ThinkAlmost 1,300 Genes Seem Tied to Academic SuccessGreen Spaces a Mental Balm for City DwellersYour Earliest Memories May Be FalseDoes Dirty Air Cancel Out the Benefits of Exercise?Health Tip: Map Your Way to Better HealthGreen Space: A Gateway to Better Health?How to Use Sunscreens the Right WayWant a Meaningful Conversation? Cut the Small TalkDrinking and Driving: A Deadly July 4 CocktailHealth Tip: Have a Fun and Safe VacationBeat the Heat on Your Summer VacationSitting Tied to Raised Risk of Death From 14 DiseasesHot Cars, Drowning: Keep Your Family Safe This SummerJust 1 in 4 Americans Gets Enough ExerciseHow Much Drinking Is Healthy -- or Not?America's Poor Are Less Happy Than Ever: StudyBeach, Boating and Booze Add Up to Summer InjuriesThe Water's Great. Just Don't Overlook Safety.Strategies to Avoid SunburnHealth Tips for Summer FunAHA: We All Need Water for a Healthy Life, But How Much?Health Tip: Understanding Sunscreen LingoSnubbed on Social Media? Your Depression Risk May Rise'Face-Aging' Photos Convince Tanners to Shun the SunHealth Tip: Stay Fit at WorkHealth Tip: 5 Habits That Could Help You Live LongerLeave Tablets, Smartphones Out of the Bedroom for Better SleepWhat Makes for a Healthy Community?Closed Cars Can Become Deathly Hot in MinutesA Pill to Protect You From the Sun? Don't Believe It, FDA SaysAre You a Procrastinator? Then Read This. Now!Lifelong Exercise Can Guard Heart HealthWant to Give Your Memory a Boost?Fewer Money Worries Can Pay Off in Better Health
LinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Smoking
Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Exercise
Emotional Resilience

Social Media Friends Can Bruise Your Body Image

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Mar 5th 2018

new article illustration

MONDAY, March 5, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Seeing too many social media posts from friends about their fitness activity can harm your body image, a new study contends.

"When people received more posts about exercise, it made them more concerned about their weight -- more self-conscious -- and that's not a good thing," said study co-author Stephen Rains. He's a professor of communication and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Arizona.

Posts about physical activity were especially likely to trigger concerns about weight if people thought the friends making those posts were very similar to themselves.

"Similarity heightens social comparison," Rains said in a university news release. "So if the person posting about exercise is someone who's in your age group, has a similar build or a similar background, you might think that's a pretty good reference, and that might spark in you even greater weight concern."

For some people, though, exercise posts from friends motivated them to get more active, the study also found.

"If a person is posting a lot about exercise, they must be really fit, so you're using that as a motivator," said study co-author Tricia Burke, a professor of communication studies at Texas State University.

The study included 232 people who viewed posts from their friends for the past 30 days on their favorite social media site. The participants tallied the number of posts about any physical activity meant to maintain fitness and health, such as hiking, walking, going to the gym and more.

The more exercise-related posts that people saw, the more concerned they were about their own weight, the study found. That could lead to an unhealthy body image, the researchers said.

"Our results were mixed," Rains said. "Good can come out of this, in the sense that it can make some people more interested in exercising and feel better about exercising. But it might make other people feel worse about themselves if they're more concerned with their weight."

The study was published online recently in the journal Health Communications.

More information

The National Eating Disorders Association has more on body image.