You follow fitness influencers on YouTube. But do you actually exercise? How parasocial relationships, and watching fitness influencers, relate to intentions to exerciseKarina SOKOLOVA, Charles PEREZ
Digital celebrities found on social media platforms are found to be successful in endorsing brands and products, and influencing purchase intentions of their followers. However, influencers also promote values and lifestyles on their channels, such as healthy behavior and fitness. In this article, we investigate the motivations of users who follow fitness influencers on YouTube and how parasocial interaction and intentions to watch fitness are related to intentions to exercise. Watching fitness videos and social interaction seems only to motivate followers that are already physically active. Non-exercising users are attracted to YouTube by entertainment and a parasocial relationship with an influencer that has no impact on their intentions to exercise.