Saturday, March 13, 2010

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.

23 comments:

  1. Okay so what if I got a 29???

    I am over to run missing an hour of sleep because of the time change. I say that adds to it...

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  2. Brandon is a terrible coach if I'm scoring lower than him... 27 pffff.

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  3. well, i cannot say i am surprised. i exercise a great deal. however, my success in sport is directly dependent upon it. I prefer to think of my exercise volume as extreme dedication and discipline. if addiction is equated with discipline and sacrifice then i must be an addict. However, i prefer my "addiction" to exercise to the addictions i used to be beholden to score =29.

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  4. I'm a 27. Seems odd that I would score higher than you, Joanna, a professional triathlete. Clearly, I am just more dedicated than you are. Or more anal-retentive, or obsessive, or something.

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  5. score=23

    Seems about right to me. on the edge of addiction. but i constantly remind myself that i'm into triathlon for the fun of it. it's not like at age 45 i'm going to turn pro. so, i don't take it as seriously as some.

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  6. Lara -- Believe it or not, I have decreased the amount of exercise I do! I used to do lots of junk miles which Phil has cut right out of the schedule.

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  7. Lara -- Believe it or not, I have decreased the amount of exercise I do! I used to do lots of junk miles which Phil has cut right out of the schedule.

    Um... x2 :) Go fast... or go sleep. :)

    23

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  8. 23 for me! Does it count if am not quite forty yet?

    David :)

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  9. I am surprised I did not score higher. I think because I scored low on the first two questions. I have small children, and they are my top priority. My husband is super supportive and he and I work out our exercise schedules. The other ones wee on the higher side of the spectrum.

    Interesting post.

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  10. 29, dig it!!! Dang, should have been a 30.......I suck.......

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  11. 24, but maybe I'm fooling myself, because I think I recognize a lot of the names of the other posters.....I will say this: I don't think any of us really want to get rid of this addiction; we just wish others would accept us for our heavy-breathing ways!

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  12. I got 17 - I've had back surgery and a couple of bad bike crashes. Staying uninjured is most important to me, and that means moderation some of the time. Less is more.

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  13. I scored a 27... Hello, my name is Maggie and I am an exercise addict...!

    I guess I'd like to see how I score in the middle of the winter!

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  14. Sunshine Gal:o)

    My score 25.....fitness is my passion and it's want keeps me healthy and happy....it's the BEST stress reliever....I try to motivate others to exercise and experience the feeling of accomplistment and to make a lifestyle change for the better....life is precious...you have a choice...start today...one baby step at a time:D

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  15. Close one, not an addict, 23.

    Perhaps this follows my thinking that taper and recovery run a close second to race day. Training, well... it's overrated and just a necessity for what I need to do on race day. Also a good excuse to hang out with friends.

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  16. I scored a 21. Hey Mark, when you need a break, give me a call.

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  17. 15 baby....does that make me an apathist??

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  18. Yep, 26. When I saw this initially I though (hoped) I'd be lower but... my name is Krysten and I am an Exercise-aholic. :)

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  19. very interesting and slightly disturbing as I am officially an addict, yet i believe it makes me a happier, better person. conflicting!!!

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  20. Amazingly, a 20. I would have thought it would be much higher..

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  21. i scored my self a 23 ironically, but i could be lieing to myself, so ill ask my wife.

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