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 Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

nachricht Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ
09.11.2017 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Corporate coworking as a driver of innovation

22.11.2017 | Business and Finance

PPPL scientists deliver new high-resolution diagnostic to national laser facility

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Quantum optics allows us to abandon expensive lasers in spectroscopy

22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>