Monday March 30, 2020

Fitness Trend on Social Media May Lead To Body Shaming issues Among Women: Study

According to the researchers, close to 90 per cent of young Australians use some form of social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or SnapChat

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Social Media
According to the study, published in the journal Body Image, despite the positive intentions and popularity of social media images depicting women being active in exercise programmes, researchers have studied whether the #fitspiration Instagram movement is having its desired inspirational effect - and found the opposite to be true. Pixabay

Researchers have found that the fitspiration social media trend is flawed because it makes women feel worse about themselves and their bodies rather than inspiring them to exercise.

According to the study, published in the journal Body Image, despite the positive intentions and popularity of social media images depicting women being active in exercise programmes, researchers have studied whether the #fitspiration Instagram movement is having its desired inspirational effect – and found the opposite to be true.

The study of more than 100 women aged 17-25 years found that viewing #fitspiration images increased negative mood and body dissatisfaction among women, and that exposure to #fitspiration images did not lead to greater exercise behaviour.

“When considering actual exercise behaviour, there appears to be no beneficial effect, despite their positive intentions and popularity, #fitspiration images are yet another way to make women feel worse about themselves and their bodies,” said study researcher Ivanka Prichard from Flinders University in Australia.

According to the researchers, close to 90 per cent of young Australians use some form of social media, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or SnapChat.

“Young women’s rapidly growing use of image-based platforms such as Instagram is of concern, given what we know about the impact of idealised imagery on body image,” Prichard said.

“One of the most consistent and influential forces on young women’s body image is the media’s depiction of idealised and often unobtainable body types such as a thin and fit ideal,” Prichard added.

Results demonstrated that exposure to #fitspiration images led to significantly higher negative mood and body dissatisfaction when compared to the same women being exposed to travel inspiration images. Some women were then asked to exercise.

Of these, women who had viewed #fitspiration images felt like they “worked harder” but did not actually travel any further on a treadmill than women who had viewed travel images.

Instagram
Researchers have found that the fitspiration social media trend is flawed because it makes women feel worse about themselves and their bodies rather than inspiring them to exercise. Pixabay

The study also investigated if engaging in exercise after viewing #fitspiration images could reduce the negative effects from image exposure – and found improvements in mood and body image following exercise.

For women who were exposed to #fitspiration and did not exercise, their levels of mood and body image perception returned to normal following a period of quiet rest, the study said.

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“These findings provide further evidence highlighting fitspiration and aspiring to a thin and fit ideal as a potentially harmful online trend,” Prichard said. (IANS)

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WhatsApp Experiences Greatest Gains Amid Lockdown

WhatsApp sees 40% increase in usage in time of pandemic

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WhatsApp
WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company. Pixabay

As COVID-19 pandemic envelopes the world, WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage, according to a study by Kantar, a data and consulting company. This is a technology news.

Across all stages of the pandemic, WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Overall WhatsApp has seen a 40 per cent increase in usage.

Kantar conducted the largest global study into consumer attitudes, media habits and expectations during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Kantar estimates that for WhatsApp in the early phase of the pandemic usage increases 27 per cent, in mid-phase 41 per cent and countries in the late phase of the pandemic see an increase of 51 per cent.

Spain experienced a 76 per cent increase in time spent on WhatsApp. Overall Facebook usage has increased 37 per cent. China experienced a 58% increase in usage of local social media apps including Wechat and Weibo.

WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the social media app experiencing the greatest gains in usage as people look to stay connected. Pixabay

According to a study, there is a crisis in trust. Traditional nationwide news channels (broadcast and newspaper) are the most trusted sources of information with 52 per cent of people identifying them as a ‘trustworthy’ source.

Government agency websites are regarded as trustworthy by only 48 per cent of people, suggesting that government measures are not providing citizens around the world with assurances and security.

Also reflecting the loss of trust from recent election cycles, social media platforms are regarded by only 11 per cent of people as a source of trustworthy information.

As countries move deeper in to the pandemic so media consumption increases across all in-home channels. According to Kantar, in the later stages of the pandemic web browsing increases by 70 per cent, followed by (traditional) TV viewing increasing by 63 per cent and social media engagement increasing by 61 per cent over normal usage rates.

Increased usage across all messaging platforms has been biggest in the 18-34 age group. WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram have all experienced a more than 40 per cent increase in usage from under 35-year olds.

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Consumers expect the brands they choose to look after their employees first and foremost with 78 per cent saying take care of employees’ health and 62 per cent saying implement flexible working.

Supporting hospitals (41 per cent) and being helpful to government (35 per cent) is an expectation of significant minority of consumers, the study says. (IANS)