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"Exercise Dependence"—A Problem or Natural Result of High Activity?

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Objectives: To compare physical activity (PA) and exercise dependence (ED) in 267 weight-loss maintainers (WLM) and 213 normal-weight (NW) controls. Methods: PA and ED assessed via accelerometery and the Exercise Dependence Questionnaire. Results: WLM had higher PA levels and ED scores than those of NW (P< 0.0001). WLM status (P=.006) and higher PA (P=.0001) were independently related to higher ED, although effect sizes were larger for PA. Exercising for weight control was the ED domain that most discriminated WLM from NW. Conclusions: WLM have higher ED scores than do NW, but this is mostly due to exercising for weight control.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Kinesiology, California Polytechnic State University; San Luis Obispo, CA 2: Department of Biostatistical Sciences, Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC 3: University of Auckland School of Population Health, Auckland, New Zealand 4: Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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