Psychological consequences of exercise deprivation in habitual exercisers

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1996 Sep;28(9):1199-203. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199609000-00018.


Psychological consequences of exercise deprivation in habitual exercisers. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the influence of 3 d of exercise deprivation on selected psychological variables. Ten volunteers (4 female and 6 male) who regularly exercised 6-7 d.wk-1 for at least 45 min at a time participated in a 5-d study. Participants completed their regular workout on the first day of the study, refrained from physical activity for the next 3 d, and then resumed their regular exercise on the 5th d of the study. Participants reported to the lab on Monday following their regular workout and completed a series of questionnaires, and these same questionnaires were completed at the same time of day on the next 4 d. The dependent variables consisted of state and trait anxiety (STAI), and tension, depression, anger, vigor, fatigue, confusion, and overall mood (POMS). Increases in total mood disturbance, state anxiety, tension, depression, and confusion across days were significant (P < 0.05), and vigor decreased. The pattern of increasing mood disturbance with exercise deprivation was followed by mood improvement to baseline levels when exercise was resumed. We concluded that a brief period of exercise deprivation in habitual exercisers results in mood disturbance within 24-48 h.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Anxiety
  • Depression / etiology
  • Emotions*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological*