The exercise paradox: An interactional model for a clearer conceptualization of exercise addiction

Egorov, Alexei Y. and Szabo, Attila (2013) The exercise paradox: An interactional model for a clearer conceptualization of exercise addiction. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 2 (4). pp. 199-208. ISSN 2062-5871


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Background and aims: Exercise addiction receives substantial attention in the field of behavioral addictions. It is a unique form of addiction because in contrast to other addictive disorders it is carried out with major physical-effort and high energy expenditure. Methods: A critical literature review was performed. Results: The literature evaluation shows that most published accounts report the levels of risk for exercise addiction rather than actual cases or morbidities. The inconsistent prevalence of exercise addiction, ranging from 0.3% to 77.0%, reported in the literature may be ascribed to incomplete conceptual models for the morbidity. Current explanations of exercise addiction may suggest that the disorder is progressive from healthy to unhealthy exercise pattern. This approach drives research into the wrong direction. Discussion: An interactional model is offered accounting for the adoption, maintenance, and transformation of exercise behavior. The here proposed model has an idiosyncratic black-box containing the antecedents and characteristics that are unique to the individual, which cannot be researched via the nomothetic approach. Subjective aspects in the black-box interact with stressful life events that force the person to cope. The range of coping may be wide. Escape into exercise depends on personal (subjective) and situational (objective) factors, but the subjective components are inaccessible for a priori scholastic scrutiny. It is our view that currently only this dual interactional model may account for the fact that exercise addiction emerges suddenly and only in a few individuals from among those at high risk, estimated to be around 3.0% of the exercising population.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BF Psychology / lélektan
Depositing User: xFruzsina xPataki
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 18:06
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 18:06

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