University of Hertfordshire

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Can Exercise Be An Addiction? The Evolution of ‘Fitspiration’ in Society

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalResearch and Advances in Psychiatry
Volume4
Issue1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Aug 2017

Abstract

This work provides an overview of the evolution of Exercise Addiction (EA) in society since the 70’s. It reviews the existing literature in terms of typical symptoms, classifications, aetiology and assessment, while highlighting its potential links with other behavioral addictions and its increasing relevance in behavioural and addiction studies. It suggests a relation between the ‘Fitspiration’ phenomenon and the development of eating disorders and the misuse of ‘Performance and Image Enhancing Drugs’ (PIEDs), or simply ‘Lifestyle Drugs’. It concludes by emphasising the need to inform healthcare professionals about the risks associated to this phenomenon as well as developing innovative prevention responses to safeguard public health and promoting further research in this growing field of study.

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