Exercise Disorders

Why do we get addicted?


  • Also known as Activity Disorder
  • Many people love exercise because of a sense of control and accomplishment
  • Now more than ever, people are exercising less for fitness and pleasure, and more because of pressure from today's society
  • In the past, it was mostly found in athletes, but the number of people is growing


  • Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine, like a drug
  • Addicts feel reward and joy when exercising
  • Eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia can lead to activity disorder
  • Can be dangerous for your body, many suffer from early osteoporosis, stress fractures, and other health complications


  • Self control is required
  • acknowledge the problem and take steps
  • refrain from exercise for a period of time to regain a balanced life
  • Counseling from treatment professionals on developing healthier coping skills
  • Training from an exercise psychologist or specialist when returning to exercise, to determine a healthy workout schedule and diet


  • Activity disorder without an eating disorder only affects 3% of Americans, but the number is growing
  • 6% of eating and exercise disorders die
  • 39-48% of all eating disorder cases also suffer from activity disorder


  • Can lead to life threatening body dysmorphia disorders
  • Can cause unhealthy bones, organs, and death
  • It can control your brain and alter your thoughts

Athletes and Exercise Addictions

  • Addictions can be found in eating disorders and overtraining
  • Overtrainers can suffer from frail bones, muscle strains, and other chronic overuse injuries, like tendinitis
  • Some feel like if they did not overtrain, their performance would suffer

Why Did I Choose This?

I chose to focus on exercise addictions because I am an athlete, and in my sport, gymnastics, overtraining, eating disorders, and other negative body image disorders happen a lot. Gymnastics is an individual sport, not really a team sport, so not doing well effects you more than your team, and its just you on the floor, beam, bars or vault. You don't have anyone else to rely on. These things can cause negative self esteem. I was interested to see what causes this addiction, because it is something that people who I relate to have struggled with.