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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.



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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