Getting Buff for the Apocalypse

Young men are spending more time in the gym—and gloomy social scientist says that’s bad:

A new study out of the University of East Anglia in England has found a surprising connection between the social media activities of gym “bros” and economic health. The research suggests that since 2008, there has been “an empirically observable rise in young men sharing images of their worked-out bodies on social media platforms.”

The reason, according to study author and University of East Anglia lecturer Jamie Hakim, is an erosion of “traditional routes to success and power” typically supplied through rewarding employment.

“Austerity has eroded young men’s traditional means of value creation, so they have become increasingly reliant on their bodies as a means of feeling valuable to society,” Hakim said in a statement accompanying his report. “The projection of what constitutes a ‘good life’ has become so spectacular even while the means of achieving home ownership, a prestigious career and a high income are radically diminishing.”

Our guess: if this trend stops and young men start skipping their workouts to play video games, some gloomy gus social scientist will publish a paper calling this new trend a sign of impending social doom. And some journalist somewhere will be gullible enough to use it as “evidence” for the collapse of capitalism.

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