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 Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

nachricht Sustainable Development Goals lead to lower population growth
30.11.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>