Your Instagram addiction may help you lose weight, and not just in your thumbs from all that scrolling.
A new study from Northwestern University found that involvement in online fitness and health communities leads to more weight loss. Researchers studied data from dieting website Carole King and looked closely at the messages exchanged between users. According to Northwestern, the scientists found that users who did not connect with others lost about 5 percent of their body weight over six months, while those with friends lost between 7 and 8 percent.
However, for those who crave privacy during their journeys, personal connections may not be the right step.
“Some people feel highly motivated and egged on to succeed when they can post their accomplishments on a leader board and compare their progress to others’,” Bonnie Spring, the Northwestern professor who published the study, told the New York Times. “Others cave under that kind of pressure and public scrutiny.”
That's where Instagram comes in. Scrolling through feeds of recipes and before and after photos, even without contributing your own, provides the motivation without interaction. The hashtag #fitfam on Instagram has over 46 million posts regarding dieting, nutrition, and exercise.
If you're pushing towards a weight loss goal, keep scrolling through your feed -- it's actually beneficial. Good luck!
Lead Image Credit: Joao Silas via Unsplash