The expanded exercise addiction inventory (EAI-3): towards reliable and international screening of exercise-related dysfunction

Umberto Granziol*, Mark D. Griffiths, Liye Zou, Peiying Yang, Hannah K. Herschel, Annika Junker, Takayuki Akimoto, Oliver Stoll, Merve Alpay, Zeynep Aydın, Thomas Zandonai, Laura Di Lodovico, Mia Beck Lichtenstein, Mike Trott, Robert M. Portman, Melanie Schipfer, Brian Cook, Silvia Cerea, Aleksei Y. Egorov, Abril Cantù-BerruetoRicardo de la Vega Marcos, Paula Texeira Fernandes, Emilio Landolfi, Zsolt Demetrovics, Eliza E. Tóth, Marco Solmi, Attila Szabo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Downloads (Pure)


Exercise addiction (EA) refers to excessive exercise, lack of control, and health risks. The Exercise Addiction Inventory (EAI) is one of the most widely used tools in its assessment. However, the cross-cultural psychometric properties of the EAI could be improved because it misses three pathological patterns, including guilt, exercise despite injury, and experienced harm. Therefore, the present study tested the psychometric properties of the expanded EAI (EAI-3) in a large international sample. The EAI-3 was administered to 1931 physically active adult exercisers speaking five languages (Chinese, German, Italian, Japanese, and Turkish) and other measures for obsessive–compulsive behavior, eating disorders, and personality traits. The assessment structure and reliability of the EAI-3 were tested with factorial analyses and through measurement invariance across languages and sex. Finally, a cutoff point for dysfunction-proneness was calculated. The EAI-3 comprised two factors, reflecting the positive and pathological sides of exercise. The structure had excellent reliability and goodness-of-fit indices and configural and metric invariances of the scale were supported. However, three items caused violations in scalar invariance. The results of partial measurement invariance testing suggested an adequate fit for the data. Following sensitivity and specificity analysis, the EAI-3’s cutoff score was 34 out of a maximum score of 48. This preliminary study suggests that the EAI-3 is a promising tool for screening EA in an international sample, with a robust and reliable structure comparable across languages and sex. In addition, the proposed cutoff could pave the way toward a consensus on a threshold to screen for EA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health and Addiction
Early online date10 May 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 10 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open access funding provided by Università degli Studi di Padova within the CRUI-CARE Agreement.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Cross-cultural validation
  • Exercise addiction
  • Exercise Addiction Inventory
  • Exercise dependence
  • Measurement invariance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'The expanded exercise addiction inventory (EAI-3): towards reliable and international screening of exercise-related dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this