This 'Inspiring' Hashtag Does a Number on Your Self-Esteem (PHOTOS)

woman running#Fitspo. #Fitspiration. These hashtags are supposed to inspire and motivate the rest of us to go get fit ourselves. But apparently, that's not the case. Coveting another woman's six-pack, run time, or handstand on the beach actually makes us MORE unhappy with our bodies.

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A recent Australian study asked 130 women between the ages of 17-30 whether they had an Instagram account and, if so, how much time they spent looking at it. Then they questioned each woman about her mood and feelings about her body.

Next, the women were divided into two groups -- one that looked at travel images on Instagram during a lab session, the other that oohed and ahhed over "fitspiration" pics. And by that we mean photos of women in workout gear or actually working out.

Afterward, the participants were surveyed again. The results were, in a word, disheartening. The women who had to scroll through "fit-spiring" images of strangers reported lower self-esteem and body image than the ones who just had to stare at a couple of images of the Bahamas at sunset (or whatever).

More from The Stir: Kids Begin to Worry About Their Body at an Alarmingly Young Age

In fact, the results were SO striking between the two groups that the researchers were like, "Whoa! Fitspiration might be a really harmful thing for people to look at."

Our words. What THEY said was, "Thus it was concluded that fitspiration can have negative unintended consequences for body image."

You get the point. And honestly, it makes sense. Would you rather be sitting here, eating a candy bar to stay awake through your afternoon energy slump, or one of the women happily enjoying her life in one of these photos?

Today I had a breakthrough in my practice ð��± After smashing my #freshbodyfitmind workout I practiced as usual, I have been working so hard to wiggle my legs into lotus in pincha and in handstand and today BOTH of them happened ð��� I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been on the lotus struggle bus for a loooong time ð��� So this was just what I needed ð���ð��»wearing @dharmabumsactive tights from @yapparel ______________________________________ â�¡ï¸ï¿½ Click the link in my bio to get a copy of my @letsstartyoga ebook, it's everything you need to kickstart your yoga journey & learn how to progress! ð���ð��¼ #LETSSTARTYOGA

A photo posted by @letsstartyoga | Dubai (@jessicaolie) on

We vote for the latter. Fortunately, it's super-easy to do. All you need is to is push that little "off" button on your computer, throw on your kicks, and get outta here.

Your emotional health might depend on it. Just please, don't post pics of yourself for the rest of us to envy.

 

Images via Stockphoto4u/iStock

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