Presentation Date


Hosting Institution

California Polytechnic State University


San Luis Obispo, California

Document Type




Supporting Program


Faculty Mentor

Brian Cook


temperament, exercise dependence, eating disorders, primary exercise dependence, secondary exercise dependence, behavioral activation/inhibition scale


Exercise Dependence (EXD) is a term used to describe pathological exercise characterized by a preoccupation with exercise, withdrawal symptoms when unable to exercise, and an interference with social relationships and/or occupational commitments [1]. In short, EXD is a maladaptive pattern of exercise that manifests in negative physiological, psychological and social symptoms [2]. EXD is defined by applying the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV-R (DSM-IV-R) criteria for substance dependence [3]. Specifically, there are seven criteria of dependence (e.g., tolerance, withdrawal, intention, reduction in other activities, continuance, time and lack of control) [4]. Exercise is considered dependent when at least three of these criteria are met. For example, an individual may experience continuance as exercising despite recurring negative physical (e.g., injuries) or psychological effects, experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression or anxiety when they are unable to exercise, and/or reduce important obligations (e.g., work, spending time with family/friends, school, etc.) in favor of spending time in activities related to exercise [5].

Vongsaroj_J_CSUSRC_2017.pdf (354 kB)
Summary Narrative



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