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Keywords:

  • exercise;
  • negative affect;
  • motivation;
  • exercise function;
  • eating disorders

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of exercising in response to negative affect.

Method

Participants (N = 177) completed questionnaires assessing affect before and after exercise, exercise quality and quantity, eating behaviors and attitudes, body image, and self-esteem.

Results

Fifty-eight percent of participants endorsed ever exercising in response to negative affect. As a group, these individuals were more likely to report self-induced vomiting, binge eating, and fasting over the previous 4 weeks. They also showed poorer body image and self-esteem, and their exercise was more obligatory and impairing. Groups did not differ on body mass index or quantity of exercise.

Discussion

Negative affect motivated exercise appears to be a common phenomenon that is associated with eating disordered behavior. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010