Online Program

Symptoms and functional capacity as determinants of physical activity and body composition in adults with schizophrenia

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Bryan McCormick, PhD, School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Gretchen Snethen, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Poor physical health conditions associated with schizophrenia contribute to a reduced life expectancy of almost 25 years. While reduced levels of physical activity (PA) have been targeted as contributing determinant, the factors that contribute to physical inactivity are not well understood. While both cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric symptoms are key factors in community functioning, physical activity rarely considered as a component of functioning. The purpose of the present study was to identify the role of psychiatric symptoms, cognitive dysfunction and functional capacity on PA and body composition (BMI). Forty-five participants with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were recruited from two day-treatment programs, 30 of who met criteria for valid PA data (>4 days). The sample was predominantly male (89.3%), and equally African American and Caucasian, with a mean age of 50.6. While 46% of subjects met minimum requirements for daily PA, they spent on average spent 406 minutes daily in sedentary behavior. The average BMI was 32.12 (sd=7.7) placing much of the group in the “obese” range. Analysis of symptoms, cognitive dysfunction and functional capacity indicated that they were unrelated to measured PA. In contrast, while symptoms and cognitive dysfunction were unrelated to BMI, there was a positive association found between BMI and functional capacity. Although these findings confirm the relatively sedentary lifestyle of those with schizophrenia, they also indicate that core symptoms may have little to do with PA and BMI. Similar to other adults, environmental and contextual factors may be greater determinants of PA and health in this group.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
Identify the role of physical activity in the health of adults with schizophrenia

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been engaged in research on social and community functioning of adults with severe mental illness for more than 15 years. Our work has been published in both domestic and international peer-reviewed journals.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.