Serdar Kocaekşi1, Ramazan Taşçioğlu2, Umut Sezer1, Nalan Aksakal1, Seren Akinci Özdurulmuş3


1Faculty of Sport Sciences, Eskişehir Technical University, Eskişehir, Turkey - 2Graduate School of Health Sciences, Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey - 3Faculty of Sport Sciences, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Introduction: The COVID-19 pandemic has been threatening people’s lives with an unhealthy lifestyle for the last two years. Most notably, nation-wide quarantine policies made people stay at home, resulting in reduced physical fitness. Although regular physical activity and exercise offer both physical and psychological benefits to individuals, compulsive and excessive exercise have some harmful consequences such as exercise dependence, which was defined as over commitment behaviors that make people continue to run despite injuries, illness, and so forth. The aim of this research is to examine the exercise dependence levels of individuals who exercise regularly according to their age and gender in the COVID-19 period.

Material and methods: This survey research was conducted using stratified purposeful sampling. A total of 269 participants (age = 26.50 ± 9.42), including 110 female (age = 26.38 ± 9.63) and 159 male (age = 26.38 ± 9.63) aged between 14-65 participated in the research voluntarily. Demographic information form and exercise dependence scale were used as data collection instruments. Pearson correlation and One-way MANOVA were used in data analysis.

Results: As a result of the Pearson correlation analysis, while there was a small negative correlation between the age and “time and exercise preference” (r = -.19, r2 = .04, p < .05), “lack of control” (r = -.15, r2 = .02, p < .05), “withdrawal” (r = -.18, r2 = .04, p < .01), “tolerance” (r = -.19, r2 = .04, p < .05), “continuance” (r = -.21, r2 = .04, p < .05) in participants. There was no significant difference between the female and male people in terms of all subscales of the exercise dependence scale (p > .05).

Conclusion: While time and exercise preference, lack of control, withdrawal, tolerance, and continuance decreased when the age increased. Furthermore, the exercise dependence of male and female individuals was at similar levels in COVID-19 period.


COVID-19, Exercise addiction, Lifestyle change.