Exercise Addiction

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Exercise is important for the overall health and wellbeing of all people. People engage in physical activity for a variety of reasons. For some, being healthy is their only reason for exercising; for others, it may be to build more muscle, or gain endurance. “Exercise involves planned, structured, repetitive bodily movement done to improve or maintain physical fitness.” Exercise should always be beneficial; however excessive exercise can lead to harmful outcomes, and in come cases exercise can become an addiction. Exercise addiction has many of the same characteristics seen drug addiction such as: tolerance withdrawal, lack of control, intention effects, time, reduction in other activities, and continuance. Researchers have developed conceptually sound diagnostic criteria for exercise dependence, but have yet to determine a suitably convincing mechanism for its onset. In order to determine what type of interventions would be effective for treating or overcoming exercise addiction, researchers must first have an understanding of what causes the addiction. Understanding what psychological and physiological mechanisms are present in exercise addiction can help researchers to develop an intervention that will address all factors that nurture the addiction. The purpose of this study is to examine existing literature on the underlying mechanisms that could be responsible for the onset of exercise addiction in individuals in order to determine what types of intervention are needed to effectively treat exercise addiction. The study will include interviews to assess exercise addiction.

Theoretical background
In 1977, psychiatrist George L. Engel released an article, The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biomedicine, in which he proposed the Biopsychosocial Model, or BPSM. 1 “The Biopsychosocial Model is a method of understanding health and illness through biological, psychological, and social factors.” 2 Prior to Engel’s model, the...
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