Physical activity

How is physical activity relevant to people with bipolar disorder?

Increased physical activity has the potential to improve physical and mental health in people with bipolar disorder. Individuals with a severe mental illness are more likely to be sedentary than the general population and are consequently at high risk for chronic medical conditions associated with inactivity. Positive psychological effects from physical activity in clinical populations have been reported, including improved quality of life.

What is the evidence regarding physical activity?

Moderate quality evidence suggests people with any severe mental illness are less active and more sedentary than controls. However, in people with bipolar disorder specifically, no differences were found compared to controls, as they were more active than people with schizophrenia or major depression.

Lower physical activity was associated with; living in North America, outpatients, antidepressant use, male sex, being single, unemployed, smoking, higher body mass index, lower cardio-respiratory fitness, medical comorbidity, older age, ethnic minority status, and low education.

April 2019

Last updated at: 12:36 am, 8th April 2019
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