Exercise addiction is characterized by increasing exercise amounts which take priority over other areas of life. It is mostly observed in individual sports, such as running and weight-lifting, whereas addiction in team sport has not previously been investigated. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of exercise addiction in a team sport (football) compared to an individual sport (fitness) and to test the psychometric properties of the Exercise Addiction Inventory in these populations. The Exercise Addiction Inventory was completed by 274 men in the age group of 16-39 years (98 football players and 176 fitness exercisers). The prevalence of exercise addiction was statistically equal in the two groups (7.1% in football and 9.7% in fitness). The Cronbach's alpha showed good internal reliability in both groups and factor analysis found one underlying factor interpreted as exercise addiction. Less of the variance was explained in the football sample with low loading on item 2: conflicts (0.2). We compared the structure of the scale between the two groups by using structural equation models and we found that exercise addiction can explain the six Exercise Addiction Inventory (EAI) variables. Thus, the EAI is recommended for identification of addiction in both populations but in football players the item of conflicts could be replaced. Motivation for exercise in the football group seemed to be enjoyment and competition, while the fitness group exercised for health and weight reasons. Different motivation for exercise might explain the psychometric differences of the scale, but further studies are warranted.

TidsskriftAddiction Research and Theory
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)431-437
StatusUdgivet - 2014


  • Exercise addiction
  • Football
  • Fitness
  • Prevalences
  • Exercise Addiction Inventory
  • Validation
  • Structural Equation Model
  • Factor analysis


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