Matthew Wai

We are witnessing an increasing rate of health-focused content on social media. This is an increasing trend, referred to as ‘health signalling.’ The premise of the trend is people promoting their health values and lifestyle while in the process, often demeaning those who are not performing to the same expectation level.

Health signalling can be a showcase or promotion of wellness-related attitudes primarily via social media. Whether it be posting about your morning green juice, the number of kilometres you have run, a step count, waking up in the early hours of the morning to meditate or showcasing your organic farmer’s market haul – there are plenty of examples. Although these actions may be authentic to the individual and a focus on wellbeing is important, there are things to consider.

Interestingly, these ‘humble brags’ have increased in popularity as a result of the pandemic, perhaps due to limited social and physical interactions between people. With this in mind, social media became the perfect platform for health inspiration. We are all probably guilty of health signalling here and there, particularly when thinking of the now well-known saying, “if you didn’t post it did it really happen?” But sometimes it is not sharing every moment of our lives or our wellbeing-inspired highlights that can make the difference. So, keep in mind – if choosing to post something health-related, aim to not shame in the process, and be sure that attention isn’t the sole focus when it comes to sharing health/lifestyle-related content.