October 15, 2004

Study Shows Inactivity Among Mentally Ill

A new study from the Indiana University, Bloomington highlights suprising inactivity among some populations of mentally ill people.

The study examined participants with severe and persistant mental illness (or SPMI, encompassing such disorders as schizophrenia and bipolar) for daily physical activity. Data was collected through motion sensors (which recorded physical activity over seven consecutive days), and patient recall (notations in booklets about what they were doing, who they were with, their mood, and other aspects of activity).

Out of the four groups studied (SPMI participants, a sedentary control population, a population with severe mental detriments, and a group who exercised regularly), those with mental illness averaged the lowest in "counts per minute", or the unit of measurement used by the motion sensors to record activity during waking hours. The SPMI population averaged 305 counts per minute, as compared to 312 averated by the sedentary control group, 330 averaged by the group with mental detriment, and 550 counts averaged by the active exercising group.

Those with SPMI also reported being alone more often.

Given that people with schizophrenia often suffer from related conditions ranging from depression and anxiety to diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, the findings of this study are particularly relevant. Exercise has been proven to elevate mood, relieve depression and anxiety, lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and weight, and reduce risk for cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, many people who live with chronic psychiatric disorders indicate that a daily exercise routine (even as little as ten minutes of walking a day) is an important part of their particular therapy. A daily exercise plan can help overcome apathy and give a satisfying order to the day, as well as provide the physical and psychological benefits already noted.

Source: "Indiana University Professors Focus on Daily Lives of People
With Serious Mental Health Conditions; Study Participants Surprisingly
Inactive" (Oct 13 2004). AScribe Newswire (http://www.ascribe.org/).


And that is why I am trying (with unexpected resistance from staff) to start an exercise program at my clubhouse. If it's perfectly acceptable to sit around and smoke, why is exercise a problem?

Posted by: Marian Stevenson at November 13, 2004 09:17 PM

Does anyone know of a good semi residential or resi-dential treatment program that is not government funded.

Posted by: Layne Meacham at May 23, 2007 12:43 PM

Clubhouse! Featured in the latest issue of Schizophrenia magazine. Bear River Mental Health in Northern Utah shut theirs down saying that the program is nothing but a fraudulent use of medicaid dollars. So what's the deal? Should Clubhouse be funded with Medicaid money? Anyone affiliated with a Clubhouse? What's the deal, is Bear River Mental Health of Logan Utah casting the die? The state health officials agreed with them.

Posted by: Layne Meacham at August 30, 2007 09:34 PM

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