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Psychol Sport Exerc. 2012 Jul;13(4):500-508. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

The effect of exercise absence on affect and body dissatisfaction as moderated by obligatory exercise beliefs and eating disordered beliefs and behaviors.

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1
Department of Psychology, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242-0001, USA.

Abstract

AIM:

Research suggests that exercise absence is frequently associated with greater guilt and negative affect, particularly when obligatory exercise beliefs and eating disordered psychopathology are considered. Two separate studies used ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to examine differences in mood on exercise and non-exercise days and the moderating impact of obligatory exercise beliefs and eating disordered beliefs and behaviors.

METHOD:

Both studies recruited female university students who endorsed frequent exercise behavior and study two also recruited based on level of eating disordered psychopathology. Participants completed the Obligatory Exercise Questionnaire at baseline and EMA measures of affect and exercise behavior for approximately one week. Study two participants also completed measures of body dissatisfaction and cognitions.

RESULTS:

Results of study one suggest that obligation to exercise appears to have a greater impact on general level of affect than does exercise absence or the interaction of these two. In addition, in study two, eating disorder symptomatology was significantly associated with affect and cognition while exercise absence and obligatory exercise beliefs were not.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present studies suggest that the absence of exercise is not associated with significant changes in affect or cognitions. However, obligation to exercise and eating disorder symptomatology do impact affect and cognitions.

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