FOMO Fitness: It’s a Thing

Lisa Patulny

You may think of Facebook as the perfect procrastination tool when the gym is calling your name, but new research suggests social media can actually motivate you to exercise more.

Recently published in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports, a study of 217 graduate students tested the effectiveness of social media as a workout influence compared to promotional content (like infographics and videos). The findings were interesting: the influence of social media—namely of online peers—was more effective than traditional advertising in encouraging physical activity.

Specifically, promotional messages were found to cause an initial bump in gym class attendance, but online peers were more compelling in motivating people to exercise continually over time. Apparently, just knowing that your friends—or even strangers—are exercising, can be inspiration enough. (In other news, could this be the first-ever instance of FOMO having a positive effect?)

More research is needed on whether the driving factor behind the results is down to competition or friendly social support, but for now it’s good to know that scrolling through a little #fitspo might actually help us get pumped for the gym.

One of our favourite ways to boost motivation with new gym gear—we like Nike's Free TR Flyknits ($180).

Opening photo: Pinterest

What do you think about this study? Do you find being part of an online fitness community motivating? Tell us in the comments below.

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