Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Men more dependent on exercise than women, UF study shows

24.10.2002


Women may worry more about their weight, but it’s men who are more likely to become hooked on exercise, a University of Florida study shows.

College-age men were twice as likely as their female counterparts to exercise to excess, and were more prone to becoming irritable and tense if they missed a scheduled workout time, according to a study published in the June issue of the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

"We think of exercise as a positive behavior, and for the most part it is, but it can also become negative when people become dependent," said Heather Hausenblas, an assistant professor of exercise and sport sciences at UF’s College of Health and Human Performance. "Knowing the characteristics of excessive exercisers can help in determining who may be at risk for excessive exercise."



The research among 408 university students also found that men who worked out for the benefit of feeling better physically and mentally – rather than to look better or improve their performance – were more likely to become dependent on the need to exercise excessively, said Hausenblas, who conducted the study with Danielle Symons Downs, a former UF graduate student who now is an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University.

Women who wanted to change their body size or shape were more likely to show symptoms of exercise dependence, a need for exercise that results in excessive and uncontrollable physical activity, the study found.

People who are exercise dependent report withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depressions when they are unable to work out and often give up social relationships to exercise. Their professional or school work begins to suffer, and they continue to exercise despite injuries, Hausenblas said. About 3 percent of the study participants – 2 percent of men and 1 percent of women –showed an elevated risk of developing this unhealthy reliance on exercise evidenced by their high scores on a standard scale measuring dependency tendencies.

With only about 10 percent of Americans regularly active, Hausenblas stresses the number of people who become addicted to exercise is relatively small.

"Exercise is beneficial, and it becomes a negative thing in very few people," she said. "However, even a good thing taken to an extreme can be bad."

The study also looked at the reasons people exercise – termed exercise imagery – to determine if there were differences between men and women.

Exercise imagery is divided into three categories: appearance, energy and technique. Those who exercise to change their physical form exhibit appearance imagery, while energy imagery exercisers work out for the benefit of feeling better physically and psychologically. Technique imagery is when exercisers work to improve their method by rehearsing the same movements repeatedly.

Among men, exercise dependence was related to energy imagery while among women this tendency was related to appearance imagery, the study found.

The participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 25 and were all physically active and enrolled in sport and fitness classes, were given three separate questionnaires asking them to assess their exercising habits.

While Hausenblas’s research looked only at physically active university-age students, the findings likely would be similar for active adults of other ages, she said.

Her suggestion to all exercisers: Remember that too much of a good thing – working out, in this case – can have harmful effects on well being.

Craig Hall, a professor of health sciences and kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario who has conducted similar research, said Hausenblas’ findings undoubtedly will lead to further studies.

"In our own exercise research we have consistently found differences between men and women, with women usually being more concerned about appearance than men," Hall said. "However, exercise dependency might not to be related to appearance, as one might initially expect, but to some other aspect of exercise. That is, whatever variable(s) are related to exercise dependency might be more prevalent in men than women."

Writer: Piper Stannard
piperstannard@hotmail.com
Source: Heather Hausenblas
(352) 392-0584, Ext. 1292
heatherh@hhp.ufl.edu

University of Florida | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ufl.edu/

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>