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Doctors warn that you can become addicted to running, especially if you do it to escape from problems
Written by SOT.COM.AL 31 Janar 2023
The research found the strongest link to exercise addiction in those who use running to block out negative thoughts. Runners who run recreationally on the road to escape their problems may be at risk of developing exercise addiction.
As things stand, about one in four "runners" show signs of addiction and more willingly choose not to spend time with their loved ones in order to go for a run.
A new study shows which types of people are most at risk. The study, which involved 227 recreational runners, found the strongest link to exercise addiction among those who used running to block out negative thoughts. People who used running to improve their lives were less likely to become addicted. These two types of people see running as an escape, but researchers point out that attitude is important.
- People who cannot run without running to escape from their problems have less control over their running and can become addicted and even feel ashamed and depressed after running - explained Dr. Frode Stenseng, who led the study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
The study, reported by the Daily Mail, surveyed runners about their well-being, symptoms of exercise addiction and their attitudes about running. It found that participants who ran for two to 15 hours a week were less satisfied with their lives if they used running as an escape from their problems.
The questionnaire given to participants assessed their attitudes toward running based on how strongly they agreed with 11 statements about how they feel when they run. Those who agreed more with statements such as "I want to get away from myself" and "I shut out difficult things I don't want to think about" used running as a negative escape. Those who used running for positive escape were more likely to agree with statements such as "I am filled with positive energy that I carry into other parts of my life."
Both attitudes are somewhat related to exercise addiction, but people who used running as a "negative escape" showed stronger signs of an unhealthy obsession with running. This was assessed based on agreement with statements such as "I cannot reduce how much time I exercise" and "I would rather exercise than spend time with family or friends".
- These findings can enlighten people in understanding their motivations when they run - concludes Dr. Stenseng.