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Ask Dr. Nandi: Gym selfies on social media might be ruining your self esteem

Posted at 5:01 PM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 17:01:14-05

Scrolling through gym selfies may do more damage than good for some social media users. 

I found this study quite interesting because I’ve gone to the gym and posted workout selfies in hopes of inspiring others.  

But it turns out, gym selfies affect people in different ways.  

Researchers interviewed 230 social media users. They found if a person was exposed to a high number of fitness posts, they were more likely to be worried about their weight and body image compared to those who saw very few.

It turns out that if the fitness selfies are from people you look up to, you can actually be motivated and take on a positive attitude towards exercise.

The problem is you may not consciously realize how these posts affect you while you scroll through so I’ve got my prescriptions to help:

  1. When viewing gym selfies, pay attention to how they make you feel.  If you start comparing yourself in a negative way, you could be hurting your self-esteem.
  2. Whether you’re a gym junkie or a couch potato making lifestyle changes, avoid the pitfalls of social comparison. Don’t get fixated on the false image of perfection.
  3. Movement is key to a healthy life. Always use encouraging words when talking to yourself and feel good about any exercise you do.
  4. Be aware of the psychological impact social media can have. When posting fitness selfies, write positive pro-health messages that inspire people.

Moderation is really important – spending too long on social media can certainly affect your quality of life.  

Also don’t get caught up in what others post. Often this is only one side of life and many people only share the best parts.  

To help improve self-esteem, spend time with loved ones, focus on your positive qualities and do things you enjoy. Also be forgiving and encourage yourself.