People who post their fitness routine to Facebook have narcissistic traits, study claims

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

[This article was first published in 2016]

Everyone has at least one friend who always posts their gym activity on social media. Maybe you even do it yourself.

"Ran 15 miles before work! Yeah" can be motivating to read in the morning, or incredibly annoying, depending on how much you hate that painfully overused flexed-biceps-emoji.

Researchers from Brunel University in London conducted a study in May 2015 as to why so many people share every workout on social media. The results are unflattering, to say the least.

People who are always keen on documenting their gym activities (or every time you simply go for a good, old-fashioned run) tend to be narcissists, the study found. 

According to the researchers, the primary goal is to boast about how much time you invest in your looks. Apparently, these status updates also earn more Facebook likes than other kinds of posts.

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

The high number of likes doesn't necessarily mean everyone loves seeing those bragging posts, though.

Psychology lecturer Dr Tara Marshall goes on to say that "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.

"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 researchers concluded that further studies are needed in order to uncover what people’s Facebook statuses say about them.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in