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PeerJ. 2018 Jun 13;6:e4994. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4994. eCollection 2018.

Identifying the predisposing factors, signs and symptoms of overreaching and overtraining in physical education professionals.

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Faculdade de Educação Física e Dança, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.
Colegiado de Educação Física, Universidade do Estado da Bahia, Teixeira de Freitas, Bahia, Brazil.
Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
Centro de Educação Física e Desportos, Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil.



It is possible that physical education professionals, especially those who participate in aerobic activities, have predisposing factors, signs and symptoms of overreaching (OVR) and overtraining (OVT) due to a high load and volume of exercise followed by suboptimal recovery time. The present study aimed to identify the predisposing factors, signs and symptoms of OVR and OVT in physical education professionals.


A questionnaire consisting of 42 questions (10 questions group) about predisposing factors and signs/symptoms was answered by 132 physical education professionals from both sexes (83 men and 49 women) who were allocated into a resistance training group (RG, n = 74), aerobic training group (AG, n = 20) and resistance and aerobic training group (RAG, n = 38). A mean score was calculated ranging from 1 (completely absent) to 5 (severe) for each question group. A low occurrence of predisposing factors and signs and symptoms of OVR and OVT was considered to be a question group score 4 or lower. Profile of Mood State Questionnaire (POMS) was also applied.


A mean score of 2.5 ± 0.7, 2.7 ± 0.7 and 2.7 ± 0.8 was found for all question groups for RG, AG and RAG, respectively. Of the total sample, 40.6% trained at least five times/week. The POMS revealed that 67.5% of the RG (n = 50), 80% of the AG (n = 16) and 60.5% of the RAG (n = 23) were classified as having no mood disorders and a standard graphic iceberg was presented. There were no statistical differences (p > 0.05) in the total mood disorders among RG (13.9 ± 24.5), AG (10.3 ± 25.1) and RAG (14.6 ± 27.9) groups.


Despite the volume of training/body working performed by the physical education professionals surveyed being greater than the recommended to achieve improvements on physical fitness, they did not show predisposing factors, signs or symptoms of OVR and OVT.


Aerobic training; Exercise; Mood disorders; Resistance training

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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