ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®: January – February 2023 | Fitness/Wellness Professionals as Social Media Content Creators and Influencers: Health and Legal Risks to Consider
By Julia Buchanan, Ph.D., ACSM-EP, EIM-II, MCHES, NBC-HWC; Hongyoung Kim, M.S., CFSM; and JoAnn M. Eickhoff-Shemek, Ph.D., FACSM, FAWHP
A wide use of social media and virtual communication platforms enable people to interact with each other. Platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are actively being used by social media content creators and influencers. Content creators and influencers in the fitness and wellness space on social media may or may not have the appropriate education, credentials, and practical skills relative to the information they are sharing. This article describes three legal cases involving fitness/wellness social media influencers. After each case are “takeaways” fitness/wellness professionals should consider to help prevent health risks and various legal risks when operating in the social media space. The article concludes with an interview from two experienced fitness/wellness professionals who maintain an active presence on social media.