Promoting physical activity for mental illness

Promoting physical activity for mental illness

Following an editorial in The Lancet, a leading medical journal, that called for investigation into the best way to deliver exercise interventions for people with severe mental illness, medical scientists now respond with adding that the most important challenge  to the effectiveness of exercise is adherence. “We therefore advocate that the focus in this debate should not be on the most ideal dose–response (ie, efficacy), but on how people with severe mental illness might include such changes in their daily lives (ie, effectiveness).”

The scientists state that the health recommendations for the general population may not always be suitable for people with a mental illness. Therefore these general health recommendations should not be discarded, but reframed as aspirational goals. The scientists furthermore advocate for the inclusion of health-care professionals in this process to advise patients to sit less and move more. “Implementation of such interventions requires a shift in culture and system reform, from the design of mental health facilities through to changing staff attitudes”, the scientists conclude.

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