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      Exercise addiction in Spanish athletes: Investigation of the roles of gender, social context and level of involvement


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          Background and aims: In nomothetic research exercise addiction is studied on the basis of symptoms which are most often linked to exercise volume. However, other factors may also affect individuals' susceptibility to the disorder. The aim of this research was to examine the influence of gender, social context (team or individual sport), and level of athletic training on symptoms of exercise addiction. Methods: Two groups of university athletes – sport- ( n = 57) and non-sport orientation ( n = 90) – and a group of elite ultra-marathon runners ( n = 95) completed the Exercise Addiction Inventory (EAI). The psychometric properties of the Spanish EAI were determined. Results: EAI scores were higher in men than women ( p = .018). Participants in team sports reported higher EAI scores than individual athletes ( p = .005). Elite runners scored higher on the EAI than university athletes ( p = .005), but their scores were unrelated to the volume of training. The prevalence of “at risk” for exercise addiction was 7%–10% in university athletes and 17% among the ultra-marathon runners. The Spanish EAI showed good psychometric properties. Discussion: The results of the current inquiry show that several factors – including gender, level of athletic training, and social context of the training – affect exercise addiction and, in line with the literature, the volume of exercise did not emerge as an index of susceptibility to exercise addiction.

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          Exercise addiction: symptoms, diagnosis, epidemiology, and etiology.

          Regular physical activity plays a crucial role in health maintenance and disease prevention. However, excessive exercise has the potential to have adverse effects on both physical and mental health. The scholastic and empirical discussion of excessive physical activity focuses on obsessive and compulsive exercising, and uses several labels. However, in this review, we argue that the most appropriate term for this phenomenon is exercise addiction, emphasizing that excessive physical exercise fits the typical and most common characteristics of behavioral addictions. The aim of this review is to synthesize the current knowledge on symptomology, diagnosis, epidemiology, and etiology of exercise addiction.
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            Negative addiction to exercise: are there differences between genders?

            INTRODUCTION: Regular physical exercise has numerous benefits. However, there is a subset of the exercising population who may develop a compulsion to exercise excessively and who may, as a consequence, display physiological and psychological changes that have a direct influence on their quality of life. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine if there are differences between male and female athletes' scores on measures of negative addiction symptoms, quality of life, mood and sleep. Methods: 144 female and 156 male athletes participated in this study by answering the following questionnaires: Negative Addiction Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Trait Anxiety Inventory, Profile of Mood States, SF-36 Quality of Life, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. RESULTS: Higher dedication to training sessions in the male group, and members of the female group with symptoms of negative addiction to exercise showed a lower score on vigor observed by the Profile of Mood States compared to the males in both situations. We also observed depression symptoms in both members of groups who had negative addiction symptoms when compared with their peers without symptoms, and these figures were even higher in females compared with the male group in the same situation. CONCLUSION: No differences were seen in the development of negative addiction exercise symptoms in males and females and there were no changes in the quality of life and mood of these athletes. Further studies of eating disorders associated with changes in body image perception could contribute to a better understanding of negative addiction to exercise.
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              Exercise Addiction in British Sport Science Students


                Author and article information

                J Behav Addict
                J Behav Addict
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                Akadémiai Kiadó
                December 2013
                13 December 2013
                : 2
                : 4
                : 249-252 (pp. 249-252)
                [ 1Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary ]
                [ 2Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain ]
                Author notes
                [* ] Corresponding author. Attila Szabo Institute for Health Promotion and Sports Sciences, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Bogdánfy u. 10, H-1117 Budapest, Hungary. E-mail: drattilaszaboyahoo.com or szabo.attila@ 123456ppk.elte.hu

                Conflicts of interest: It is declared that there was no conflict of interest of any kind in the context of this study.

                Authors' contribution: ASZ developed the rationale, aided in statistics, and wrote up the bulk of the manuscript; DVR led the conceptual design, organization of the inquiry, took part in draft writing, and administered the project; RBR overviewed the methods, conducted part of statistical analyses, and was responsible for data-base management; RO performed the participants' recruitment, collected most of the data, and managed the IT aspects of the study.

                Copyright: © 2013 Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 19 July 2013
                : 16 October 2013
                : 17 October 2013
                Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.
                Brief Report

                exercise dependence,exercise volume,individual,group,prevalence,sport


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