Katie Perz

Date of Defense

Spring 4-27-2006

First Advisor

Robert Felkel, Spanish

Second Advisor

Christine Byrd, Biological Sciences

Third Advisor

William Jackson, Michigan State University


The effects of exercise have generally been accepted as being positive for the body; cardiovascular health, weight management and increased mood state have all been associated with incorporating exercise into a routine. However, this is not the case across all exercise programs. It has been shown that intense, prolonged exercise has been associated with detrimental effects within the body's immune, musculoskeletal and neuroendocrine systems. These effects, while manageable in an acute sense with proper nutrition and rest, have the capability to have deleterious consequences on normal bodily functioning when exercise is abused chronically. The immune, musculoskeletal and neuroendocrine systems are characterized by a large adaptive capacity; yet, imbalances in metabolic homeostasis observed in experimental testing are indicative of injurious physiological and biochemical changes due both to suppression and over-exaggeration of these everyday maintenance and restoration activities. Ultimately, the collective activity of these three systems in response to exhaustive exercise has been shown to induce leukocytosis, decreased functional capacity of immune cells, dysregulation of the cytokine response, increased presence of harmful reactive oxygen species, a state of acidosis, a state of hormonal imbalance and receptor desensitization, as well as many other individual effects that, when induced chronically, have the ability to cause harmful effects and ultimately to contribute to the pathogenesis of Overtraining syndrome.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only