p-ISSN: 1300-0551
e-ISSN: 2587-1498

Aydan Orscelik1, Gökhan Büyüklüoğlu1, Sabriye Ercan2

1Sports Medicine Department, Gülhane Medical Faculty, Health Sciences University, Ankara, Türkiye
2Sports Medicine Department, Faculty of Medicine, Süleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Türkiye

Keywords: Exercise, orthorexia nervosa, alexithymia


Objective: Based on the hypothesis that exercise addiction must be in accordance with general rules of addiction, it may be associated with healthy eating obsession as orthorexia and emotion blindness as alexithymia. This study aimed to determine the relationship between exercise addiction level and alexithymia and orthorexia.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on individuals who regularly exercise for more than 150 minutes a week. The descriptive characteristics of the participants were recorded, and the 'Exercise Addiction Scale, Teruel Orthorexia Scale, and Toronto Alexithymia Scale' were applied. According to the Exercise Addiction Scale, the athletes (n=95) were divided into two groups addicted (≥52) and risky (<51). Toronto Alexithymia Scale was used to categorize individuals with 51 point cut of values 'non-alexithymic' and 'alexithymic'.

Results: Athletes were found to be 22.1% (n=21) risky, 77.9% (n=74) addicted, and 31.6% (n=30) alexithymic. There was a significant difference between the 'risky' and 'addicted' groups in all sub-dimension scores of the Exercise Addiction Scale (p=0.001). There was a positive relationship between exercise addiction, exercise duration, orthorexia nervosa, and alexithymia at different levels from weak to high (p˂0.05).

Conclusion: Higher exercise addiction is a risk factor for alexithymia and orthorexia nervosa.

Cite this article as: Orscelik A, Buyukluoglu G, Ercan S. The relationship of exercise addiction with alexithymia and orthorexia. Turk J Sports Med. 2023; 58(3):139-45; https://doi.org/10.47447/tjsm.0762

Ethics Committee Approval

The approval for this study was obtained from Suleyman Demirel University, Clinical Research Ethics Committee, Isparta, Türkiye (Decision no: 54/3 Date: 21.12.2021).

Author Contributions

Concept – AÖ, SE; Design - AÖ, SE; Supervision – AÖ, SE; Materials – AÖ, SE; Data Collection and/or Processing – AÖ, GB, SE; Analysis and Interpretation – SE; Literature Review – AÖ, SE, GB; Writing Manuscript - AÖ, SE; Critical Reviews - AÖ, GB, SE

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship and/or publication of the article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or publication of this article.