Orthorexia Nervosa and Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms as Risk Factors for Exercise Dependence

Bingül Harmancı


Regular exercise is beneficial both physiologically and toward mental health; however, excessive exercise can be the cause of dependence. One of the aims of this study was to evaluate exercise dependence, orthorexia nervosa levels, and symptoms of obsessive compulsive behavior in individuals who regularly exercise at the gym. Another aim of this study was to show the predictive effect of exercise dependence, orthorexia nervosa, and symptoms of obsessive compulsive behaviour. Participants aged 18 and over included in this study have been exercising regularly at a gym for a year. Within 390 participants, 179 females and 211 males were included in this study. EDS-21, ORTO-11, PE-WSUR were applied on the participants. Research findings show a statistically significant difference in the ORTO-11 scale between male and female participants, according to male participants whose female participants showed lower scores. Another important finding of this study shows that exercise dependence has negative relations to orthorexia nervosa levels and positive relations to obsessive compulsive traits. It has also been determined that both orthorexia nervosa and symptoms of obsessive compulsive behavior are predictive of exercise dependence. Study findings show that orthorexia nervosa and symptoms of obsessive compulsive behavior could be effective and important factors in improving exercise dependence. The findings of the study can be used to better understand the risk factors of exercise addiction, which is one of the behavioral addictions in the field of psychology. This is the first study in TRNC in which exercise addiction, orthorexia nervosa, and obsessive-compulsive symptoms work together. In addition, it is thought that the study will provide information about exercise addiction and a better understanding of the factors that may affect the development of exercise dependence.


Keywords: exercise dependence, orthorexia nervosa, obsessive compulsive disorder.


DOI: https://doi.org/10.55463/hkjss.issn.1021-3619.61.8

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