Seen an increase in the number of gym selfies on your social media feeds? Does this mean anything more than your friends hitting the gym more often?
According to a new study by the University of East Anglia in England, there is a correlation between posting gym selfies and economic well-being. The study’s authors believe that males, in particular, need to have an outlet for demonstrating their success and power.
While fulfillment has traditionally come through satisfying employment, the economy is still recovering from the Great Recession. The study found that there has been “an empirically observable rise in young men sharing images of their worked-out bodies on social media platforms” since 2008, when the recession started.
In other words, being fit has started take more priority over what had previously been symbols of success: “home ownership, a prestigious career and a high income.”
As evidence of this, the study found that British gym attendance by individuals between the ages of 16 and 25 increased from 14.7 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2013.
The use of hashtags on Instagram was also examined, and it was found that a large of number of ones related to fitness were linked to “images of men displaying their muscular bodies.”
While this study didn’t cover the U.S., it is believed that many of the same findings hold true. Youth unemployment for those between 16 and 24 ranges from double to triple of that of the general economy.
According to the study, the fact that many more are in careers they don’t enjoy, only furthers the need for many to be a gym rat.