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Int J Eat Disord. 2010 Jan;43(1):50-8. doi: 10.1002/eat.20656.

Prevalence and correlates of exercise motivated by negative affect.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY, USA. kd897738@albany.edu



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


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


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.


Negative affect motivated exercise appears to be a common phenomenon that is associated with eating disordered behavior.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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