I thought this would be a good topic for some general discussion. In some of the “top stories” feed below I see some really questionable ones. For example, the story about Oreos being as addictive as Cocaine. Did anyone actually click through and read the article? It seems like a pretty stupid study to me. In test #1, they gave a lab rat the choice to go through a maze with two endings. One with an oreo and one with a rice cake. The rat preferred the oreo. Next they put the lab rat in the maze where one end had toe reward of cocaine and one end had the reward of a water/saline solution. They rat preferred the cocaine. Now suddenly, there is an article saying Oreos are as Addictive as cocaine!!! It’s pretty ridiculous, yet as personal trainers and group-x instructors these are exactly the kinds of tidbits and news bites we post on our facebook walls for our clients to see. Aren’t we doing them a disservice? How about the article about the “Best poses for digestion” also linked in the top stories news feed. Did you click through and read the fine print that this is based on a SINGLE yoga instructors opinion, with no scientific research to back it up? It frustrates me the amount of bad info we spread to our clients based on sensational titles. How much research do you put in to the things you share on your Facebook and Twitter feeds to your clients? Do you make a conscious effort to correct the misinformation out there? It seems like sometimes, we as professionals are our own worst enemies! What do you think?
thanks for starting this thought-provoking conversation. Here are my personal thoughts on this subject.
The way we communicate what we know, read and perceive should make clear when the information is based on little more than anecdotal evidence. Yet I also believe that not everything needs to be in peer-reviewed documentation to be true. Many scientific breakthroughs have started with anecdotal observation, and subsequent studies were providing explanations for it.
That is not so say that we should pass the latest gossip as gospel. But I see nothing wrong with communicating things that ring plausible to me, that I may be able to corroborate with own experience or that I have found to be true for me. As long as I make this clear, I do not think that I provide misinformation.
You are certainly correct that we should not share, paste on walls or tweet anything we see without having read all there is to it.
I am curious to read what my fellow fitness professionals have to say.