03 Feb Why TikTok Exercise Influencers need to be taken with a grain of salt
TikTok is fun right? Sure is! Who doesn’t love short videos of dogs making fools of themselves or epic mountain biking adventures?
Social media channels like Tik Tok are a great way for us to celebrate humanity and give everyone a chance to share their story. The TikTok app has been downloaded over 2.6 billion times worldwide and shows no signs of slowing!
One of the key interest areas of TikTok is health and well-being, and the app is awash with hundreds of thousands of user generated content aimed better health. It’s great to see that there is so much interest from the general public to improve health, but what are the dangers we should be aware of?
When it comes to ‘exercise influencers’ on TikTok we see followers growing to communities of over a million followers. That is over a million people who are getting their health advice from a stranger on a social media app, this is worrying. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why.
Why we should be wary of TikTok Exercise Influencers
Firstly, let’s question why their have created their TikTok channel, it’s understandable that many will be driven by the motivation to help people change their lives yet we need to understand that it can be driven by money and status.
Companies have been known to pay $200 to $20,000 per branded video promoted by influencers, depending on the individual’s level of influence. In other words, the more followers the more money.
Would you trust your health in the hands of someone who is merely trying to fund their lifestyle, or someone who actually cares about you?
They don’t celebrate uniqueness
As humans, each one of us is built differently and that is to be celebrated! Our differences also mean we have unique needs when it comes to health and well-being. A female aged in her 20s requires much more different support than a male aged over 60!
Online ‘exercise gurus’ often publish generic/cooker cutter style exercise content that does not suit everyone. Exercise should be tailored to suit each person to avoid injury or future issues.
Would you let someone with a history of heart problems take on a high-octane cardio work out without any professional support? We think not.
Experience and qualifications matter
Professionals educate themselves for years and years to hone skill and experience and the outcome is a person who understand the many layers of health and exercise.
“Exercise professionals who are serious about their career will take the time to register with the right authority, constantly upskill their knowledge, review all the latest research and can be held accountable for their actions,” says Accredited Exercise Physiologist Carly Ryan.
“Expertly prescribed exercise has the ability to change lives however the wrong exercise can also be deadly. It’s important to have an understanding of the person you are gaining your advice from, make sure they are actually an expert and not someone in a living room passing on instructions with no scientific background.”
Movement of any kind should be celebrated and encouraged and there are many online influencers who are helping many move more. If you find someone online who helps motivate you to lead a more active life that is fantastic!
We just ask that you always take any advice with a grain of salt if you are unsure of their background and knowledge. Finally, if you have lived with a chronic condition or injury then it’s vital you speak to the right professional before starting any new exercise journey.
If you’d like to find an Accredited Exercise Professional near you, or one who could support you online, click here.