Social Media: Can You Scroll Your Way To A Healthier You?

Woman eating fruits dessert with iPhone 4s in hands

03 Feb Social Media: Can You Scroll Your Way To A Healthier You?

It’s proven we’re now a society more likely to go online to check our symptoms as opposed to turning to our doctors, with an American study indicating that at least a third of adults access health information through social media.

Social networks can now have a huge impact on our individual health, with trends such as #fitspo, food bloggers and fitness vloggers clogging up our feeds. It’s time to realise how Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and some new social networks are influencing our personal drive to be fitter and healthier.  

The stats and figures are also proving social media is becoming much more prominent in altering the way we look at our health and diet:

  1. According to MediaBistro more than 40% of consumers say that information found via social media affects the way they deal with their health.
  2. 19% of smartphone users have at least one health app on their phone. Exercise, diet and weight loss apps are the most popular kinds according to The Spark Report.
  3. 40% of people polled, according to HealthCare Financial News, said information found on social media would affect the way they coped with a chronic condition, their approach to diet, exercise and their selection of a specific doctor.  
  4. 28% of health-related conversations on Facebook are supporting health-related causes, followed by 27% of people commenting about health experiences or updates according to Infographics Archive.

We’re becoming so involved with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter that these are now an integral aspect of most parts of our lives. The advantage of social media being so immediate is that many of us choose to turn to online research to learn more about conditions, diets, exercise, and so on rather than flicking through hundreds of pages of different books. Plus, social media serves as an excellent tool to read someone else’s experiences directly, offering usually a more basic level of knowledge which is more friendly than the jargon used by medical professionals.

With the increase in health and fitness apps it has never been easier to keep track of your calories, exercise sets, heart rate and walking pace. From Fitbit to MyFitnessPal and Pact, more and more of these apps are emerging, providing various professional tools for aspiring healthy users.

PCMag hit the nail on the head recently when it comes to Mobile Apps: “They are ideal assistants for health, fitness, and weight-loss resolutions because they are always with you and they’re quite personal. Fitness isn’t something we can take care of in just one day. It requires daily habits and lifestyle changes, and a few little nudges in the right direction from your mobile phone might make all the difference.”

It’s obvious health trends come and go in social media, and at a startling rate, but for now googling the “Paleo Diet” or “Juicing” will drum up numerous picture-filled blogs and prolific social media users with highly dedicated followings. It’s certain that thanks to social media, things that were once the domain of uber-health geeks has now expanded into very commercial, easily accessible trends.