#Fitspiration photos are actually depressing, says study

The first step to a healthier 2018 may ironically begin with forgetting #fitspo, a new study suggests.

According to a new report from Flinders University in Australia, exposure to images of “functional fitness,” or legitimate exercise, can positively boost women’s self-esteem — as opposed to idealized “fitspirational” imagery, which does not bolster well-being, appearance satisfaction, or intent to exercise.

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While the study’s female participants embraced photos they saw in the more motivational media campaigns This Girl Can and #jointhemovement, looking at impossibly stunning images of #fitspo female bodies did not spur the same results.  

Nevertheless, researchers found that the former campaigns did not stop participants from comparing themselves to the idealized images.

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With over 51 million photos tagged for #fitspo on Instagram as well as some 27 million results generated on Google, it’s clear that the goal-centric health movement is here to stay, and hope for a more balanced 2018 — in terms of health "inspiration" on social media — looks bright.

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From increased sizing discrepancy awareness to sexual harassment protests on the red carpet, it would seem the body-positivity movement is only poised to grow in the New Year.

Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox News Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak