Adolescents access information about fitness, including content labelled as #fitspiration, through social media. A total of 77 adolescents (mean age = 12.49; standard deviation = 0.55; girls = 27) participated in semi-structured focus groups to explore their perspectives on #fitspiration and fitness more broadly. Through inductive thematic analysis, four themes were developed: (1) fitness enhances physical function and appearance, but these are not always linked; (2) fitness is transformative but requires hard work; (3) fitness should be an intrinsically motivated personal choice; and (4) pain in the pursuit of fitness. Findings highlight young adolescents’ complex understandings of fitness negotiated through their critical interpretation of #fitspiration.
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- physical activity
- qualitative methods
- social media