Exercise addiction

Mia Beck Lichtenstein, Cecilie Juul Hinze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


For some people, exercise can develop into excessive and obsessive exercise patterns that appear to meet many of the criteria for a behavioral addiction. Exercise addiction is characterized by increasing exercise amounts, withdrawal symptoms, tolerance, and loss of control. Eventually exercise addiction can lead to physical and psychological distress and reduced health. Exercise addiction in adolescence has not been researched in detail and definitions and the measurement of exercise addiction are not consistently applied in both adult and adolescence research. Exercise addiction appears to be prevalent in a minority of adolescents and emerging adults, especially among those with an eating disorder, and it is associated with negative exercise and eating attitudes. Studies of comorbidity and risk profiles draw associations between excessive exercise and eating disorders, emotional problems, and certain personality traits including perfectionism, narcissism, and compulsiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdolescent Addiction : Epidemiology, Assessment, and Treatment
EditorsCecilia Essau, Paul Delfabbro
PublisherAcademic Press
Publication date3. Mar 2020
ISBN (Print)9780128193006
ISBN (Electronic)9780128186268
Publication statusPublished - 3. Mar 2020
SeriesPractical Resources for the Mental Health Professional


  • Body
  • Compulsive
  • Eating disorder
  • Exercise addiction
  • Injury
  • Negative


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