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#Fitspiration photos are actually depressing, says study

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A new report suggests that "fitspo" is doing us more harm than good.

A new report suggests that "fitspo" is doing us more harm than good.  (iStock)

The first step to a healthier 2018 may ironically begin with forgetting #fitspo, a new study suggests.

According to a new report from Flinders University in Australia, exposure to images of “functional fitness,” or legitimate exercise, can positively boost women’s self-esteem, as opposed to idealized “fitspirational” imagery, which does not bolster well-being, appearance satisfaction, or intent to exercise.

Paradise ????

A post shared by FITSPO - Fitness Inspiration (@fitspo) on

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While the study’s female participants embraced photos they saw in the media campaigns This Girl Can and #jointhemovement, looking at impossibly stunning images of #fitspo female bodies did not spur the same results.  

Ready to take on 2018? Upload your workout snaps to the #ThisGirlCan app for your very own poster ???? Click the link in our bio to get started.

A post shared by This Girl Can (@thisgirlcanuk) on

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Nevertheless, researchers found that the functionality campaigns did not stop participants from comparing themselves to the idealized images.

With over 51 million photos tagged for #fitspo on Instagram as well as some 27 million results generated on Google, it’s clear that the goal-centric health movement is here to stay, and hope for a more equitable 2018 looks bright.

From increased sizing discrepancy awareness to sexual harassment protests on the red carpet, it would seem the body positivity movement is only poised to rise in the New Year.

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Janine Puhak is an editor for Fox news Lifestyle. Follow her on Twitter at @JaninePuhak

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