We all know that person on our social media feeds who plots and charters their progress at the gym on Facebook, much to the dismay of their friends.

 

They've just completed an hour long Hot Yoga class before 8am, you're stuffing a muffin and takeaway coffee into your face on the commute to work. 

 

With the new year under way, there have been plenty of overnight recruits to the Irish Fit Fam.

 

 

A photo posted by fitnish.com (@fitnish) on

 

While they may look cute in their Lulu Lemons mirror selfie (featuring a protein shake flask, of course), research from the Brunel University in London has shown that people post their fitness progress for some less than flattering reasons.

 

Facebook posts about fitness and transformation garner more likes than any other type of post, so fitness fanatics could be looking for validation and a self esteem boost through their "I just ran 5k, yaaay," posts.

 

"Narcissists more frequently updated about their achievements, which was motivated by their need for attention and validation from the Facebook community," concluded the study.

 

 

However, just because people give a virtual thumbs up to their newly health conscious Facebook friend, it's not necessarily a positive online encounter.

 

"Although our results suggest that narcissists' bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays," said Dr Tara Marshal, who conducted the study. 

 

So next time you see that gym bunny from your home town posting about her successful booty gains, bear in mind that she might be boosting her ego along with her fitness levels.

 

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