Home / Science / Health /  Facebook use may harm your mental, physical health: study

Los Angeles: Hitting ‘likes’ on Facebook posts and updating your status on the social networking site more often may be harmful to your mental and physical health, a new study has warned.

Holly Shakya, an assistant professor at University of California, San Diego and colleagues analyzed data from about 5,200 people with an average age of 48 over three time periods.

The study participants rated their mental and physical health on a scale of one to 4 and life satisfaction on a scale of one to 10, and reported their body mass index (BMI) numbers. The participants also allowed the researchers to access to their Facebook data.

In addition to finding that people who gave out more “likes" had worse health, the researchers found that those who updated their Facebook status more often reported having worse mental health, on average, than those who updated their status less often, Live Science reported.

These links were shown to grow over time, suggesting both that people whose health is worse may turn to Facebook and that using Facebook may make things worse, researchers said. They also found that people with higher BMI may use Facebook more but not that Facebook leads to higher BMI.

People’s social media use is a complex topic, and studies don’t agree on whether too much Facebook is harmful. Previous study found that people who show off their romantic relationships on Facebook were more likely to report higher quality relationships.

However this was the case only if their affection was authentic, the researchers said. Another study showed that accepting more friendships on Facebook was associated with living longer, but initiating friendships did not confer the same benefit. The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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