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Physical activity

How is physical activity relevant to people with schizophrenia?

Individuals with a serious 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. Physical activity has the potential to improve quality of life for people with schizophrenia. Positive psychological effects from physical activity in clinical populations have been reported, including improved quality of life.

What is the evidence for physical activity in people with schizophrenia?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests people with a psychotic disorder, and those with at-risk mental states, were less active, more sedentary, and had reduced cardiorespiratory fitness than people without a mental illness.

Moderate to low quality evidence finds reduced physical activity was associated with lower education, lower SES, longer illness duration, more hospitalisations, cardio-metabolic comorbidity, increased antipsychotic side-effects, and negative symptoms. Increased physical activity was associated with being a non-smoker, healthy eating and drinking habits, better physical fitness, knowledge on cardiovascular disease risk factors, greater belief in the physical activity benefits, intention to engage in physical activity, increased self-efficacy, better physical self-perception, and an improved health-related quality of life.

August 2020

Last updated at: 3:13 am, 17th August 2020
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

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Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.