Social Media Affecting Fitness & Effects Of Indoor Sports | This Week’s Top Studies

If you’re looking for the latest information from the health and fitness world, then you’ve come to the right place. Each week, we pick apart our favourite studies and deliver you with exciting new ways to tackle your training and nutrition. This week, we look at the effects of Facebook use on your activity levels and whether exercising indoors can lead to a vitamin D deficiency.


Facebook and exercise frequency

Most of us are guilty of scrolling through social media for a little too long each day, but while you like and comment your way down your feed, what you might not have thought about is the effect of this habit on your activity levels. According to a new study, reducing participants’ use of Facebook actually increased their levels of activity.1 The researchers from Germany reduced Facebook use of the group by twenty minutes and compared the results to a group who didn’t have their Facebook time reduced.

They found that life satisfaction significantly increased, along with levels of jogging and cycling, while depressive symptoms and smoking instances decreased. The study was only carried out for 2 weeks, but when the researchers checked back in 3 months later, they found that many participants were maintaining the lifestyle change.


Should you take your sport outside?

It can be hard to make yourself venture outside to exercise during the winter months, so if you needed some encouragement, then this is it. According to a study at George Mason University, Virginia, USA, indoor sports participants could be deficient in vitamin D.2 Your body makes most of its vitamin D from sun exposure, so if you spend a lot of time indoors, then you may need to get it from other sources.

The study looked at male and female basketball players over the 2018-19 season and found that over half of the 20 players were deficient in vitamin D. They also recorded the body composition, skin pigmentation, diet, sun exposure, and blood during the study and found that players with darker pigmentation were more at risk of being deficient of vitamin D. If you spend a lot of time in an office, then at the gym, then you might want to look into other sources of vitamin D, such as food or supplements.


Take home message

Does social media affect your productivity? Are you missing out on some of the sunshine vitamin? While these studies are small, they’re certainly something to get you thinking about how you can alter your routine to get the most out of our days and every workout.

Enjoy reading up on this week’s studies?


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1. Brailovskaia, J., Ströse, F., Schillack, H., & Margraf, J. (2020). Less Facebook use–More well-being and a healthier lifestyle? An experimental intervention studyComputers in Human Behavior, 106332.

2. Sekel, N. M., Gallo, S., Fields, J., Jagim, A. R., Wagner, T., & Jones, M. T. (2020). The Effects of Cholecalciferol Supplementation on Vitamin D Status Among a Diverse Population of Collegiate Basketball Athletes: A Quasi-Experimental TrialNutrients12(2), 370.

Evangeline Howarth

Evangeline Howarth

Writer and expert

Evangeline has taken part in competitive sports since a young age. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor, she understands the importance of proper nutrition for fuelling extreme and endurance sports, especially due to her experience in Team GBR Squads and captaining and coaching her University first team.

In her spare time, Evangeline loves running – especially marathons. On the weekends, you’ll find her taking on water sports or hiking up a hill. Her favourite evenings are spent taking on a HIIT session or squats in the gym before digging into some spicy food and a ton of vegetables – yum!

Find out more about Evie's experience here.

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