It’s All Greek to Me: Translating the Exercise Dependence Scale

Exercise dependence is a form of addiction, similar to alcohol, drug, shopping, or pornography addiction. “Exercise dependence, exercise addiction, obligatory, compulsive, obsessive, or excessive exercise have been some of the terms describing the same negative phenomenon when people overuse exercise, neglect other life domains, and exercise even if ill or injured,” said Irini S. Parastatidou of the Laboratory of Sport Psychology at the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science at the University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Currently there are 14 tools that are used by clinicians to identify behaviors of exercise dependence, some of which are quite old and of questionable validity. “Among the plethora of scales to assess exercise dependence, the Exercise Dependence Scale (EDS) followed by the Exercise Dependence Scale Revised (EDS-R) shows sufficient reliability and validity values, and it is based on a strong theoretical background relative to exercise dependence and the respective DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence,” said Parastatidou. But researchers have questioned the Greek version of the EDS because certain elements may have gotten lost in translation.

In order to determine how effective the Greek version of the EDS-R is, Parastatidou administered the scale to 158 Greek participants who were actively engaged in an exercise routine. The results revealed that although there were elements of the translated scale that need improved wording, overall, the EDS-R proved to be reliable. “Moreover, the internal consistency of the EDS-R subscales was satisfactory and in line with results of psychometric tests of the EDS-R in other languages,” said Parastatidou. “These findings provide evidence that the construct of exercise dependence as measured by the EDS-R is measured at the trait level of generality and makes the scale appropriate for repeated assessments of exercise dependence either in a longitudinal research design or an experimental design to uncover the trajectories of the individuals’ exercise dependence characteristics over time.” Parastatidou added, “Last but not least, the translated EDS-R may be used with Greek exercise participants to examine the effectiveness of interventions aiming to reduce the symptoms of exercise dependence and expand the relevant database on methods to counteract this unhealthy behavior.”

Parastatidou, Irini S., Georgios Doganis, Yannis Theodorakis, and Symeon P. Vlachopoulos. “Addicted to Exercise: Psychometric Properties of the Exercise Dependence Scale-Revised in a Sample of Greek Exercise Participants.” European Journal of Psychological Assessment 28.1 (2012): 3-10. Print.

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  • Brad


    January 11th, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Oh gosh I think that my wife has this kind of unhealthy dependence on exercise.

    Sick or healthy she always has to get that run in.

    And when she absolutely can’t make the time to do it then watch out because you know she is going to be antsy and just a bear to be around.

    That is why all of us in the house willingly give up that hour with her everyday because you really don’t want to be in the same room with her if she can’t go out and get that in.

  • RPS


    January 12th, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    There r ppl addicted to exercise??Well I cannot bring myself to make use of any gym I register at n these ppl all rush to do that even in illness? very strange.

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