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Mental and Behavioral Well-Being

Journal Abstracts
Jan 09, 2023

Mental and Behavioral Well-Being

Less Social Media + More Exercise for Better Mental Health

Journal Abstracts
Feb 22, 2024

The mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to linger, and researchers set out to study how to reduce these negative effects with a combination of less social media use and more exercise.

The participants were social media users in Germany. For two weeks, the social media group (162 participants) reduced its social media use by 30 minutes daily, the physical activity group (161 participants) increased its physical activity by 30 minutes daily, the combination group (159 participants) followed both instructions, and the control group (160 participants) did not get specific instructions. Online surveys assessed social media use, physical activity, mental health, COVID-19 burden, and lifestyle at six measurement time points up to six months after the intervention.

The groups that reduced social media use saw improvements in subjective feelings of happiness, life satisfaction, depressive symptoms, and health habits. All effects were stronger and more stable in the combination group in the longer-term.

Consciously combining less social media use with more physical activity can lead to more psychological resilience against negative pandemic impacts and higher levels of mental health.


Brailovskaia, J., et al. (2022, September 2). Experimental longitudinal evidence for causal role of social media use and physical activity in COVID-19 burden and mental health. Journal of Public Health. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10389-022-01751-x

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