Morbid exercise behavior: Addiction or psychological escape?

Attila Szabo, Z. Demetrovics, Mark D. Griffiths

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This chapter examines exaggerated exercise behavior from the perspective of behavioral addictions. First, the theoretically most appropriate and thorough definition is presented with a perspective on the much needed theoretical and semantic consistency in the field. Subsequently, we differentiate between primary exercise addiction, used as a means of escape from a psychological hardship, from secondary exercise addiction, in which exercise is used as a means for weight loss in addition to dieting. Next, we present and evaluate the most commonly used tools in the assessment of the risk for exercise addiction. Nine theories are forwarded for the explanation of exercise addiction, and are critically reviewed, while it is concluded that the best theory would emerge from knowledge gained from the diagnosed cases of morbid exercise behavior. We stress that morbid exercise behavior may be rather “revolutionary” (suddenly erupting) than evolutionary (slowly building up), because many individuals, including competitive athletes, exhibit an exaggerated amount of exercise without any sign of morbidity. Those using exercise as a means of coping with stress may show signs of addiction. However, it is the task of future research to determine why and who will resort to morbid exercise behavior in dealing with psychological hardship. Lessons from the case studies may be the most productive in such efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Exercise Effect on Mental Health
Subtitle of host publicationNeurobiological Mechanisms
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages277-311
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781498739528
ISBN (Print)9781498739511
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Exercise
Psychology
Semantics
Athletes
Weight Loss
Morbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Szabo, A., Demetrovics, Z., & Griffiths, M. D. (2018). Morbid exercise behavior: Addiction or psychological escape? In The Exercise Effect on Mental Health: Neurobiological Mechanisms (pp. 277-311). Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315113906

Morbid exercise behavior : Addiction or psychological escape? / Szabo, Attila; Demetrovics, Z.; Griffiths, Mark D.

The Exercise Effect on Mental Health: Neurobiological Mechanisms. Taylor and Francis, 2018. p. 277-311.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Szabo, A, Demetrovics, Z & Griffiths, MD 2018, Morbid exercise behavior: Addiction or psychological escape? in The Exercise Effect on Mental Health: Neurobiological Mechanisms. Taylor and Francis, pp. 277-311. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315113906
Szabo A, Demetrovics Z, Griffiths MD. Morbid exercise behavior: Addiction or psychological escape? In The Exercise Effect on Mental Health: Neurobiological Mechanisms. Taylor and Francis. 2018. p. 277-311 https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315113906
Szabo, Attila ; Demetrovics, Z. ; Griffiths, Mark D. / Morbid exercise behavior : Addiction or psychological escape?. The Exercise Effect on Mental Health: Neurobiological Mechanisms. Taylor and Francis, 2018. pp. 277-311
@inbook{8041b823fbf545d3b1c2fb5eb5a036e3,
title = "Morbid exercise behavior: Addiction or psychological escape?",
abstract = "This chapter examines exaggerated exercise behavior from the perspective of behavioral addictions. First, the theoretically most appropriate and thorough definition is presented with a perspective on the much needed theoretical and semantic consistency in the field. Subsequently, we differentiate between primary exercise addiction, used as a means of escape from a psychological hardship, from secondary exercise addiction, in which exercise is used as a means for weight loss in addition to dieting. Next, we present and evaluate the most commonly used tools in the assessment of the risk for exercise addiction. Nine theories are forwarded for the explanation of exercise addiction, and are critically reviewed, while it is concluded that the best theory would emerge from knowledge gained from the diagnosed cases of morbid exercise behavior. We stress that morbid exercise behavior may be rather “revolutionary” (suddenly erupting) than evolutionary (slowly building up), because many individuals, including competitive athletes, exhibit an exaggerated amount of exercise without any sign of morbidity. Those using exercise as a means of coping with stress may show signs of addiction. However, it is the task of future research to determine why and who will resort to morbid exercise behavior in dealing with psychological hardship. Lessons from the case studies may be the most productive in such efforts.",
author = "Attila Szabo and Z. Demetrovics and Griffiths, {Mark D.}",
year = "2018",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.4324/9781315113906",
language = "English",
isbn = "9781498739511",
pages = "277--311",
booktitle = "The Exercise Effect on Mental Health",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis",

}

TY - CHAP

T1 - Morbid exercise behavior

T2 - Addiction or psychological escape?

AU - Szabo, Attila

AU - Demetrovics, Z.

AU - Griffiths, Mark D.

PY - 2018/1/1

Y1 - 2018/1/1

N2 - This chapter examines exaggerated exercise behavior from the perspective of behavioral addictions. First, the theoretically most appropriate and thorough definition is presented with a perspective on the much needed theoretical and semantic consistency in the field. Subsequently, we differentiate between primary exercise addiction, used as a means of escape from a psychological hardship, from secondary exercise addiction, in which exercise is used as a means for weight loss in addition to dieting. Next, we present and evaluate the most commonly used tools in the assessment of the risk for exercise addiction. Nine theories are forwarded for the explanation of exercise addiction, and are critically reviewed, while it is concluded that the best theory would emerge from knowledge gained from the diagnosed cases of morbid exercise behavior. We stress that morbid exercise behavior may be rather “revolutionary” (suddenly erupting) than evolutionary (slowly building up), because many individuals, including competitive athletes, exhibit an exaggerated amount of exercise without any sign of morbidity. Those using exercise as a means of coping with stress may show signs of addiction. However, it is the task of future research to determine why and who will resort to morbid exercise behavior in dealing with psychological hardship. Lessons from the case studies may be the most productive in such efforts.

AB - This chapter examines exaggerated exercise behavior from the perspective of behavioral addictions. First, the theoretically most appropriate and thorough definition is presented with a perspective on the much needed theoretical and semantic consistency in the field. Subsequently, we differentiate between primary exercise addiction, used as a means of escape from a psychological hardship, from secondary exercise addiction, in which exercise is used as a means for weight loss in addition to dieting. Next, we present and evaluate the most commonly used tools in the assessment of the risk for exercise addiction. Nine theories are forwarded for the explanation of exercise addiction, and are critically reviewed, while it is concluded that the best theory would emerge from knowledge gained from the diagnosed cases of morbid exercise behavior. We stress that morbid exercise behavior may be rather “revolutionary” (suddenly erupting) than evolutionary (slowly building up), because many individuals, including competitive athletes, exhibit an exaggerated amount of exercise without any sign of morbidity. Those using exercise as a means of coping with stress may show signs of addiction. However, it is the task of future research to determine why and who will resort to morbid exercise behavior in dealing with psychological hardship. Lessons from the case studies may be the most productive in such efforts.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85049610341&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85049610341&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4324/9781315113906

DO - 10.4324/9781315113906

M3 - Chapter

AN - SCOPUS:85049610341

SN - 9781498739511

SP - 277

EP - 311

BT - The Exercise Effect on Mental Health

PB - Taylor and Francis

ER -