The research was published last week in a newspaper Public Health Journalevaluated a total of 642 volunteers and found that those who shared 30 minutes of their social media use (SMU) Playing sports For two weeks, I felt “happy, satisfied, and less stressed from the COVID-19 pandemic, and less depressed than the control group.”
The scientists, including those from Ruhr University in Bochum in Germany, say the effects were visible even six months after the study ended.
“The conscious combination of less physical activity and increased physical activity causally leads to greater psychological resilience against the negative effects of the epidemic and to higher levels of mental health over a six-month period,” the study authors wrote.
The scientists recruited 642 volunteers and randomly assigned them to one of four groups of roughly equal size.
The first group reduced their daily social media consumption by 30 minutes during a two-week intervention period.
The placebo group increased the duration of physical activity by 30 minutes while continuing to use social media as usual.
The scientists said that the third group combined reduced social media use with increased physical activity, while the final control group did not change its behavior during the intervention phase.
Participants responded to online surveys before, during, and up to six months after the two-week intervention phase.
In these surveys, they described the duration, intensity, and emotional significance of their social media use.
They also shared data on their physical activity, life satisfaction, subjective sense of well-being, depressive symptoms, the psychological burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, and cigarette consumption.
Research has found that both reducing the time a person spends on social media each day, and increasing physical activity can have a positive impact on people’s well-being.
Scientists say the combination of these two interventions can increase people’s life satisfaction and subjective sense of happiness as well as reduce symptoms of depression.
The effects also last a long time, even six months after the two-week intervention phase ends, they say.
“This shows us how important it is to reduce our online availability from time to time and go back to our human roots,” study co-author Julia Bryullovskaya said.
“These procedures can be easily implemented in the daily life of an individual and are completely free, and at the same time help us to stay happy and healthy in the digital age,” Dr. Bryullovskaya added.