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This might be the hardest thing a lover of social media is prepared to give up – in the interest of science!

Student researchers at the University of Bath are running a new study into how a social detox for a week could impact our physical and mental health and want volunteers to take part.

The research team from the University’s Department for Health are running a week-long experiment to determine the impact of not using Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram for adults who would ordinarily use these services daily.

Participants in the study, who need to be aged 18 and over, will be asked to complete a series of two surveys and will be allocated into either a control group (where they continue to use social media as normal) or an intervention (where they are asked to refrain from using sites for 7 days).

The team from Bath are interested in understanding more about the everyday effects of social media on all of us, and keen to learn more about the potential positive benefits this could bring for our mental and physical health.

Supervisor for the work, Dr Jeff Lambert whose own research looks at the links between exercise and mental health, explains: “There has been growing awareness over recent years of the potential negative impact social media is having on our lives – in particular our mental health. This short study aims to unlock more about what happens when we voluntarily give up sites like Facebook and Twitter over the course of a week.”

For people taking part, Dr Lambert and colleagues say the possible benefits of participating might be increased physical activity and positive psychological outcomes, in addition to contributing to new research in an under-developed area.

The full team from Bath includes fourth year Sport and Exercise Science and Health and Exercise Science students: Chloe Picton, Eleanor Minter, George Barnstable, Chloe Webb, Min Jed Chew, Joel Clarke, Kiera Williams.

To take part email Chloe at crp40@bath.ac.uk.