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      Exercise addiction and its related factors in amateur runners

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          Background and aims

          This study examines exercise addiction (EA) in amateur runners from a multidimensional approach, including demographics (age, sex, educational attainment, and financial situation), training factors (duration of running activity, weekly time spent running, mean workout distance per session, other sports activities, and childhood physical activity), psychological features (perceived health, life satisfaction, loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, body shape, and eating disorders), and anthropometrics (body mass index) that might predict EA.


          The well-validated Exercise Dependence Scale (EDS) was applied to evaluate the prevalence of EA in amateur runners. A multinomial logistic regression was performed to find explanatory variables of risk of EA using the SPSS 24.0 statistical software.


          A total of 257 runners (48.9% females, M age = 40.49, SD = 8.99 years) with at least 2 years running activity participated in an anonymous questionnaire survey. About 53.6% of respondents were characterized as non-dependent symptomatic and 37.8% as non-dependent asymptomatic. About 8.6% had prevalence of being at risk of EA. The logistic regression model displayed five variables that significantly predicted the risk of EA: (a) anxiety, (b) loneliness, (c) weekly time spent running, (d) childhood physical activity, and (e) education level.

          Discussion and conclusions

          Findings indicate that loneliness and anxiety may lead to withdrawal and uncontrolled behavior that in turn leads to increased amount of exercise in amateur runners. Lower level of education attainment is also a likely risk of EA development, and childhood sports activity is a predictor.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Physical activity from childhood to adulthood: a 21-year tracking study.

          The aim of this study was to investigate stability of physical activity from childhood and adolescence to adulthood in multiple age cohorts, and analyze how well adult physical activity can be predicted by various physical activity variables measured in childhood and adolescence. The data were drawn from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. The study was started in 1980, when cohorts of randomly sampled boys and girls aged 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 years (total of 2309 subjects) were examined for the first time. The measurements were repeated in 1983, 1986, 1989, 1992, and 2001. In 2001, the subjects (n =1563, 68%) were aged 24, 27, 30, 33, 36, and 39 years, respectively. Physical activity was measured by means of a short self-report questionnaire that was administered individually in connection with a medical examination. On the basis of a questionnaire, a physical activity index (PAI) was calculated. There were no significant differences in the 1980 PAI between participants and dropouts in 2001. Spearmans rank order correlation coefficients for the 21-year tracking period varied from 0.33 to 0.44 in males, and from 0.14 to 0.26 in females. At shorter time intervals the correlation was higher. On average, the tracking correlation was lower in females than in males. Persistent physical activity, defined as a score in the most active third of the PAI in two or three consecutive measurements, increased the odds that an individual would be active in adulthood. Odds ratios for 3-year continuous activity versus continuous inactivity varied from 4.30 to 7.10 in males and 2.90 to 5.60 in females. The corresponding odds ratios for 6-year persistence were 8.70 to 10.80 and 5.90 to 9.40. It was concluded that a high level of physical activity at ages 9 to 18, especially when continuous, significantly predicted a high level of adult physical activity. Although the correlations were low or moderate, we consider it important that school-age physical activity appears to influence adult physical activity, and through it, the public health of the general population.
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              Prevalence of the addictions: a problem of the majority or the minority?

              An increasing number of research studies over the last three decades suggest that a wide range of substance and process addictions may serve similar functions. The current article considers 11 such potential addictions (tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, eating, gambling, Internet, love, sex, exercise, work, and shopping), their prevalence, and co-occurrence, based on a systematic review of the literature. Data from 83 studies (each study n = at least 500 subjects) were presented and supplemented with small-scale data. Depending on which assumptions are made, overall 12-month prevalence of an addiction among U.S. adults varies from 15% to 61%. The authors assert that it is most plausible that 47% of the U.S. adult population suffers from maladaptive signs of an addictive disorder over a 12-month period and that it may be useful to think of addictions as due to problems of lifestyle as well as to person-level factors.

                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                31 May 2019
                June 2019
                : 8
                : 2
                : 343-349
                [1 ]Faculty of Health Care, University of Miskolc , Miskolc, Hungary
                [2 ]Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Informatics, University of Miskolc , Miskolc, Hungary
                [3 ]Faculty of Science of Public Governance and Administration, National University of Public Service , Budapest, Hungary
                [4 ]Faculty of Economics, University of Miskolc , Miskolc, Hungary
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Assoc. Prof. Andrea Lukács, PhD; Faculty of Health Care, University of Miskolc, 3515 Miskolc-Egyetemváros, Hungary; Phone: +36 46 565111 ext. 2215; Fax: +36 46 366961; E-mails: lukacs.andrea@ ; lukacs.andrea@
                © 2019 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 41, Pages: 7
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
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