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People who post their fitness regimes on Facebook 'have psychological issues'

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Picture: 2016 Getty Images/Guido De Borto

We all have that friend on Facebook who enthusiastically posts about their gym activities, weight loss and jogs before dawn.

It may even be that you are that friend. 

And while it can be motivating, inspiring even, to read about the latest workout, studies have shown that people who habitually post about their exercise, diets and accomplishments are more likely to be narcissists. 

A recent study by Brunel University London found that:

Narcissists more frequently updated about their achievements, which was motivated by their need for attention and validation from the Facebook community.

The research found that updates about fitness and workouts were more likely to be 'liked' and shared than other kinds of social media posts.

However, the study noted, this may not necessarily mean that other users are impressed. 

Lead author Dr Tara Marshal said:

Although our results suggest that narcissists' bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays.

The research also found that people who post multiple statuses about their girlfriend or boyfriend are more likely to have low self-esteem, while people who mostly post about their children are more likely to be conscientious.

For those anxious to be less insufferable on social media, Dr Marshall offers some general advice:

Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.

The study was based on surveys from 555 Facebook users and was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.


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