Fitness Blogging as a New Social Practice and Its Implications for Young Women’s Mental Health



Fitness blogging and fitness marathons are becoming a popular social practice, especially among young women. Although these practices are claimed to provide health benefits, in reality they pose serious risks to the participants’ mental wellbeing. The paper focuses on a study aimed at the analysis of the level and factors of mental distress in female fitness blog subscribers, and the dynamics of their emotional wellbeing in the course of fitness marathons. A total of 112 women aged 18 to 35 years old, with a mean age of 23.5 (SD=4.7), participated in the study. All the respondents were Instagram fitness blog subscribers. The following methods were used in the study: Physical perfectionism scale [8]; Situational Inventory of Body-Im- age Dysphoria [14]; Perceived sociocultural pressure scale [3]; Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale [9]; Beck’s Depression Inventory [17]; N.G. Garanyan and A.B. Kholmogorova’s Three-Factor Perfectionism Questionnaire [1]. Received data testify that young women who spent on Instagram over 60 minutes a day differed from those who spent maximum 30 minutes online by significantly higher levels of excessive body standards and body dissatisfaction, and a greater severity of emotional maladjustment symptoms, including suicidal tendencies. The regression analysis showed that physical and general perfectionism as well as social anxiety and depression symptoms had the most significant effect on an increase in body dissatisfaction levels. After completion of a fitness marathon, women had significant increases in body dissatisfaction and emotional problems. Further research is needed to identify targets that would help to prevent the emotional maladjustment which occur as a result of young women’s engagement in fitness blogging.

General Information

Keywords: body dysphoria, fitness marathon, fitspiration, fitness blog

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology


For citation: Lepesheva S.O., Kholmogorova A.B. Fitness Blogging as a New Social Practice and Its Implications for Young Women’s Mental Health. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2021. Vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 144–154. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2021170214.


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Information About the Authors

Svetlana O. Lepesheva, GBOU School No. 152, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alla B. Kholmogorova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Counseling and Clinical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Leading Researcher, Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry (A Branch of the National Medical Research Centre for Psychiatry and Narcology), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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