Perceived stress, exercise habits, and exercise addiction in Israeli army reserves: a pilot study

Pinto, A., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Weinstein, A., Demetrovics, Z. and Szabo, A., 2019. Perceived stress, exercise habits, and exercise addiction in Israeli army reserves: a pilot study. Military Psychology, 31 (5), pp. 355-362. ISSN 0899-5605

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Being an army reservist involves stress and uncertainty. While some individuals use exercise to cope with stress, no previous research has ever studied the relationship between army reservists exercise habits and perceived stress. The current study examined the hypothesis that Israeli army reserves in combat roles would report greater perceived stress and (to cope with the stress) exhibit more intensive exercise habits, as well as higher risk for exercise addiction, than the army reserves who are in a non-combat (i.e., office job) role and controls who are not in the army reserve. Participants (n = 277) completed questionnaires assessing their regular exercises habits, perceived stress, and risk for exercise addiction. The results showed that combat reserves scored higher on all dependent measures than non-combat reserves and controls. Perceived stress accounted for 38.8% to 56.6% of the variance in the risk of exercise addiction. Findings suggest that Israeli army reserves in combat role exercise more, for longer episodes, with greater reported intensity, and are at a greater risk for exercise addiction than the reserves in non-combat roles and controls. The higher risk for exercise addiction in the combat reserves, accompanied by a lower predictive power of the perceived stress, reflects a weaker association between these two variables in this group, most likely because combat reserves feel obliged to be physically fit in case of active deployment. This is the first study to show that differences in reservists’ roles is associated with different levels of risk for exercise addiction.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Military Psychology
Creators: Pinto, A., Griffiths, M.D., Weinstein, A., Demetrovics, Z. and Szabo, A.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date: 2019
Volume: 31
Number: 5
ISSN: 0899-5605
Rights: © 2019 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 22 Jul 2019 13:37
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2020 17:00

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