The Role of Facebook® in Promoting a Physically Active Lifestyle: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Aug 9;19(16):9794. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19169794.


Background: it is well known in literature that sedentary lifestyle contributes to worsening people's health. This issue highlights the need for effective interventions to promote an active lifestyle. Research suggested multilevel intervention strategies to promote adherence to recommended physical activity levels, including the use of social networks that may simplify access to health notions. Being Facebook® the most extensive worldwide social network, this document aimed to analyze the current body of evidence on the role of Facebook® in the promotion of physical activity.

Methods: eighteen manuscripts were considered eligible for this systematic review, and it was performed a meta-analysis (PRISMA guidelines) for overall physical activity parameters in eleven out of eighteen studies.

Results: significant improvements were detected in the total amount of physical activity. In parallel, an increase in other parameters, such as cardiovascular, body composition, and social support, were found. The aerobic training, with supervised and tailored modalities, showed more considerable improvements.

Conclusions: this study showed that Facebook® might be considered a feasible and accessible approach to promoting regular exercise practice and achieving health benefits indicators. Future research on the cross-link between physical activity and social network management could also focus on strength training to verify if a more structured intervention would show an effect.

Keywords: Facebook; active lifestyle; health benefits; meta-analysis; physical activity; review; social network.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Social Media*

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.