People Who Post Their Fitness Routine to Facebook Have Psychological Problems, Study Finds

A new study says you have a good reason for getting annoyed about friends who always post their gym activities to Facebook; people who share every workout (gym selfies) on social media are more likely to have psychological problems.

Psychologists at Brunel University London, say those who brag about diets, exercise, and accomplishments (though unintentional) are typically narcissists. From surveys designed to measure the “Big Five” personality traits (extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness), researchers noticed interesting patterns when they studied the survey results alongside facebook usage data of the 555 participants.

It turns out that people who score high point for narcissistic personality traits are keen on documenting their gym activities .  This behavior is motivated by the need for attention and validation from the Facebook community,  a trait which is present in every narcissist. Narcissists want to be recognized, and getting Facebook likes and comments provides the attention they crave.

Psychology professor Dr. Tara Marshall from Brunel University, 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 their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays.

[irp posts=”4027″ name=”12 Traits Of A Female Narcissist”]

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, Tara added.

The research team however suggests studies on responses made by people to such status update topics.


Tara C. Marshall, Katharina Lefringhausen, Nelli Ferenczi. The Big Five, self-esteem, and narcissism as predictors of the topics people write about in Facebook status updates. Personality and Individual Differences, 2015; 85: 35 DOI: 10.1016/j.paid.2015.04.039

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