A New Study Shows That People Who Post Workout Routines To Social Media May Just Be Narcissists

RealClear Staff


Post more recipes! Fewer fitness blogs!

We've all got that "one friend" whose social media presence pretty much only exists to influence others into adopting a healthier lifestyle. Yes, Brad, I can see that you're an aspiring fitness guru, do 300 pull-ups a day, and can plank for 5 consecutive hours. That's awesome. Now please just let me eat this entire pizza in peace.

Sharing workout routines, in and of itself, is great! Exercise is significantly easier when you have a definitive starting point, as well as a realistic goal that you aspire to. Plus, it certainly doesn't hurt to be a little more healthy, especially as obesity rates across the country skyrocket.

Yet, we have to ask, is your "Brad" posting his rigorous fitness regimen because he cares about obesity? Or, more likely, is he doing it because it makes him feel great about himself, and he's a secret narcissist. One study seems to support the latter.

Wow! Look at all of those workouts that I'm not going to do today!

Dr. Tara Marshall, one of the authors of the study, sees a lot of similarities between classic narcissistic behavior and those who post their fitness routine on Facebook. In her words, "narcissism was positively associated with updating about achievements and with using Facebook as validation [...] which is consistent with narcissists' tendency to boast in order to gain attention."

She goes on to identify an overwhelmingly positive correlation narcissism and constant updates about diet and exercise. It appears that, according to the study, the never-ending stream of workout tips that you see in your feed aren't motivated by selflessness or benevolence, but rather are just your friend's attempt at seeking validation through Facebook likes. Who would've thought?

How do you feel about the study? Is there something there? Let us know!


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