This is a brief summary from the following research: Stenseng F, Steinsholt IB, Hygen BW and Kraft P (2023) Running to get “lost”? Two types of escapism in recreational running and their relations to exercise dependence and subjective well-being. Front. Psychol. 13:1035196. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1035196
Why The Study Was Done
- Some people run to “escape” and become addicted
- Are they running for self-expansion or self-suppression?
- Self-expansion – for personal growth and enjoyment, happiness
- Self-suppression – feels bad if they don’t run and overall low sense of wellbeing
- Escapism = “habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment”, “in order to avoid or forget unpleasant things”
How The Study Was Done
- 227 recreational runners
- Measured self-expansion or self-suppression
- Used three scales of questions to measure:
- The Escapism Scale
- Exercise Dependence Scale
- Satisfaction with Life Scale
- Self-expansion escapism was positively correlated to wellbeing
- Running for enjoyment and not pressured to causes more satisfaction
- Self-suppression escapism was negatively correlated to wellbeing
- Running because you have to causes less satisfaction
- Self-suppression escapism more directly related to exercise dependence than self-expansion
- Being dependent on running makes it more likely to be less satisfying
- If you enjoy running or even are looking for a way to escape stress, keep it up
- Everybody needs an “escape” and running is a healthy behavior
- Running is a superior addiction than many of the other ones out there
- Consider these questions:
- Are you dependent on running where it causes more stress than it relieves?
- Make it fun again or try something else exercise related
- Do you like the way you feel when you run?
- Are you maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle?
- Please do seek professional help if you need it