Exercise, as we all know, can improve your health, but if you have an eating disorder and also exercise compulsively to help manage your weight, you may find your overall quality of life going down even further
Those are some of the findings of research by JU Professor of Kinesiology Heather Hausenblas and colleagues in a study titled “Pathological Motivations for Exercise and Eating Disorder Specific Health-Related Quality of Life” published in the April 2014 issue of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
“People with eating disorders often engage in purging behaviors to manage their weight, including self-induced vomiting, over-exercising and the use of diuretics, enemas and laxatives,” Hausenblas said. “The purpose of our study was to examine exercise dependency’s relation to eating disorders and a person’s quality of life. We found that exercise dependence may further worsen the quality of life for these patients.”
For example, a person with an eating disorder whose motivation for excessively exercising is to control their weight may experience heightened negative emotions such as anxiety, depression and stress that will further reduce their already low quality of life, she said.
An abstract of the study is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eat.22198/abstract. The researchers are Brian Cook, PhD.; Scott Engel, PhD.; Ross Crosby, PhD.; Heather Hausenblas, PhD.; Stephen Wonderlich, PhD.; and James Mitchell, MD.
A .pdf of the full study is below.