#Fitspiration images making many women feel worse: Study

Melbourne, Mar 5 (PTI) The #fitspiration social media trend -- that depicts women being active in exercise programmes -- is making many women feel worse about themselves and their bodies, according to a study.

Researchers at Flinders University in Australia studied whether the #fitspiration Instagram movement is having its desired inspirational effect -- and found the opposite to be true.

The study of more than 100 women aged 17-25 years found that viewing #fitspiration images increased negative mood and body dissatisfaction among women.

It also found that exposure to #fitspiration images did not lead to greater exercise behaviour,according to the study published in the journal Body Image.

'When considering actual exercise behaviour, there appears to be no beneficial effect,' said Ivanka Prichard from Flinders University.

'Despite their positive intentions and popularity, #fitspiration images are yet another way to make women feel worse about themselves and their bodies,' Prichard said.

She explained that one of the most consistent and influential forces on young women's body image is the media's depiction of idealised and often unobtainable body types such as a thin and fit ideal.

The study demonstrated that exposure to #fitspiration images led to significantly higher negative mood and body dissatisfaction when compared to the same women being exposed to travel inspiration images.

Some women were then asked to exercise, the researchers said.

Of these, women who had viewed #fitspiration images felt like they 'worked harder' but did not actually travel any further on a treadmill than women who had viewed travel images, they said. PTI SAR SAR