According to a new study from the National University of Ireland, Strava users can find themselves in danger of developing “obsessive tendencies”.
The study explores how fitness applications like Strava have positive or negative implications for a person’s wellbeing.
After interviewing 274 cyclists, researches found that while social fitness apps like Strava were great a keeping on track with training regimes, it could also negatively impact a person’s mental health.
Dr Eoin Whelan, a senior lecturer in business information systems at the JE Cairnes School of Business and Econonics, said: “The majority of exercisers are now using digital technology to track and share their workout data in order to support their fitness goals. But these fitness apps can be a double-edged sword.
“Our study suggests fitness sharing apps can certainly help seed and sustain exercise routines, but there is a danger that some users may develop obsessive tendencies, which need to be avoided.”
Research found that apps like Strava had added a gaming aspect to fitness and therefore saw riders using the app for either reciprocation or social recognition.
Those using the app for social recognition through praise and likes were more likely to develop an obsessive passion for cycling that in turn causes higher stress levels and eventual burnout.