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How Exercise Could Curb Your Social Media Addiction

A new study has found a link between addictive social media use and physical symptoms of depression.

POSTEDBYMARESE O'HAGAN

Social media can be a lot of fun. It provides a platform to share passions and make connections, even if they just exist on a screen. And in a year where maintaining connections has been vital, we’re online more than ever.

But high social media use can significantly damage our physical wellbeing, found a study published in late December.

Published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, the study focused on a sample of 638 social media users and examined their connections to symptoms of depression, physical activity, and social media addiction.

The results found that the more physically active a person was, the less likely they were to experience a link between depressive symptoms and addictive behaviors. The study also emphasized that those who suffer from depression use social media more intensely to avoid negative feelings, which then fuels addiction.

This is a cruel cycle that, according to this study and many others, can be eased by exercise. Physical activity boosts feel-good hormones in the brain, and can contribute to better sleep and a better standard of health. And with gyms and leisure centers closed under new restrictions, many are getting creative and turning to at-home methods of exercise.

The study concludes that those who suffer from symptoms of depression should be examined for social media addiction and encouraged to exercise. So while scrolling can be mindless and relaxing, don’t forget to check in with your physical wellbeing too.

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