Are You An Exercise Addict? Take A Quiz to Find Out.
My work at the University of Colorado entails finding causes for drug addiction and other drug use behaviors. I am in the process of writing a grant and in the course of my research I happened upon an article dealing with another type of addiction, exercise addiction. I eagerly read the article to determine if my self-diagnosed exercise addiction is indeed a clinical condition. Of course, it is easy to explain away the hours of exercise as “training” for the next big event, but, truly, wouldn’t I be out there logging miles anyway?
The paper (Terry et al., 2004) presented a six statement questionnaire that offers a 5-point response option where a 1 means that you strongly disagree with the statement and a 5 indicating that you strongly agree. I took the quiz, and for the sake of completeness, I had my husband answer the questions on my behalf, just to see how he perceives my exercising. Grab a pen and paper and answer the questions. Be honest, nobody is judging (how can we? I am sure we are all high scorers).
|Strongly disagree||Neither agree or disagree||Strongly agree|
|1.||Exercise is the most important thing in my life.||1||2||3||4||5|
|2.||Conflicts have arisen between me and my family due to the amount of exercise I do.||1||2||3||4||5|
|3.||I use exercise as a way of changing my mood.||1||2||3||4||5|
|4.||Over time I have increased the amount of exercise I do.||1||2||3||4||5|
|5.||If I have to miss a session I feel moody.||1||2||3||4||5|
|6.||If I cut down on the amount of exercise I do I start again and end up exercising as much as before.||1||2||3||4||5|
If you scored a 24 or higher, congratulations, you are an exercise addict. I scored a 26 and my husband scored me at 27. We both agreed that I am a 5 on questions 3, 5, and 6. My mother, a non-athlete scored the lowest possible score, a 6. My husband scored a middling 20. Without a doubt, exercise makes me happy and if I have to miss a workout due to injury, illness, tiredness, lack of time or any other reason for that matter, I become grouchy. I suppose at the next race we can have a support group for exercise addiction. The topics would include: how to lessen the importance of exercise in our lives, how to better balance our addiction with other life obligations, and finding alternative methods for mood improvement. The pre-race meeting would be a perfect time to hold this summit since just about everybody entered in the race would receive a pathological number on this quiz.
What was your score? Please share!
Terry, A., Szabo, A., Griffiths, M. (2004). The Exercise Addiction Inventory: A New Brief Screening Tool. Addiction Research and Theory. 12(5): 489-99.