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Social Media Impacts Your Physical Health
2 min read

Pros and Cons from a Physical Therapy Expert

Blog | Social Media Impacts Your Physical Health

In today's digital age, social media plays a significant role in our daily lives. As physical therapists, we recognize the power of social media and the influence it has on our patients and our communities' health and well-being. We recognize this is a complicated issue, and in this article, we’ll explore both the pros and cons, and let YOU decide how to best navigate this digital landscape. Please note, we firmly believe that the cons heavily out weigh the pro’s for our youth!

The Pros of Social Media

Motivation and Inspiration

Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter offer communities where individuals can share their fitness journeys, seek advice, and receive encouragement. A sense of community can motivate people to stay active and pursue their fitness goals.   Many physical therapists and fitness professionals share valuable tips, workout routines, injury prevention strategies and share stories on social media.

Hannah Martin, a PTA at Highbar Physical Therapy participated in the April Highbar step challenge, supporting her training for an upcoming half marathon.


Many people track their fitness progress or activities with apps that integrate with social media. Publicly sharing goals and achievements increases accountability and commitment. Participating in online fitness challenges or competitions can spur individuals to push their limits and stay consistent with their exercise routines.

“I am competitive so when I first heard about the step challenge, I knewI wanted to get involved. I was training for a half marathon and this challenge was added motivation for me. I took 364,242 steps, that's 164.13 miles in the month of April.” Hannah Martin, PTA at Highbar Physical Therapy.

Education and Awareness

Social media is a powerful tool for disseminating information about the benefits of movement, proper nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices. Educating and motivating people in inspirational ways, encouraging positive behavioral changes.

The Cons of Social Media

Decreased Physical Activity  😞

Yes, it’s true! Research has shown a correlation between high social media usage and decreased physical activity levels. Choosing physical activity over time on social media will provide the benefits of, controlling weight, improving mood, combating health conditions and diseases, boosting energy, and promoting better sleep

Impact on Mental Health

Studies indicate that prolonged use of social media can negatively affect mental well-being, your happiness. Consider this: a study by the University of Pennsylvania revealed that limiting social media usage to 30minutes per day can significantly improve feelings of well-being and reduce symptoms of depression and loneliness.

Additionally, social media tends to portray idealized versions of reality leading to unhealthy comparisons and reduced self-esteem.This can discourage individuals from pursuing their fitness goals if they feel they cannot measure up.

The Solution! Using Social Media to Encourage Movement and a Healthy Lifestyle

Follow Inspiring Accounts

Seek out and follow social media accounts that promote physical activity, healthy living, and positive mental health and unfollow those that do not. Follow accounts run by qualified professionals, including physical therapists, fitness trainers, and nutritionists.

Set Boundaries

Limit social media usage to specific times of the day to prevent it from interfering with your physical activity routine. Use built-in features on your devices to monitor and restrict screen time. Here’s where parents need to set the rules!

Engage in Online Fitness Communities

Join groups or communities that focus on fitness and healthy living. Participate in challenges, share your progress, and engage with other members to stay motivated, accountable, and inspired. Be empowered to feel better, move freely, and live fully!

Choosing to Scroll or to Move?

Social media, when used mindfully, can be a powerful tool for promoting physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. By understanding its potential benefits and drawbacks, we can leverage social media to enhance our well-being. However, self-discipline and boundaries are necessary to minimize the negative impact social media can have on our ability to feel and be the best we can. Let’s start a movement - #30MinutesOnly!

#PhysicalHealth #SocialMediaImpact #HealthyLiving #DigitalWellness#30MinutesOnly




Journal of Behavioral Addictions Study on Social Media andPhysical Activity

University of Pennsylvania Study on Social Media andWell-being

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