Considering a frame of reference for physical activity research related to the cardiometabolic risk profile in schizophrenia

Davy Vancampfort*, Jan Knapen, Michel Probst, Ruud van Winkel, Seppe Deckx, Katrien Maurissen, Joseph Peuskens, Marc De Hert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article reviews evidence that researchers and mental health service providers need to take into account four modifiable factors that affect the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in people with schizophrenia: (a) physical activity as part of a health-related lifestyle, (b) physical fitness, (c) mental health status and (d) antipsychotic medication. The implementation of physical activity in order to prevent and treat cardiometabolic risk factors in people with schizophrenia is discussed. English language articles published until July 2009 were identified by PubMed, CINAHL, PsychINFO, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. The search terms schizophrenia and metabolic syndrome, physical activity, health, fitness, and lifestyle were used. Physical activity interventions result in positive effects on metabolic outcomes, physical fitness, health-related behavior and mental health. Considering present knowledge, physical therapists should take into account the emotional (negative symptoms, self-esteem, self-efficacy, and stress) and physiological (cardiometabolic parameters) components of mental illness when offering physical activity interventions. The physical activity stimulus should be adapted to the individual's physical fitness level and the side effects of the antipsychotic medications. More research is needed to assist in the practical development of effective evidence-based preventive and curative strategies in psychiatric services for metabolic syndrome in persons with schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2010


  • Physical activity
  • Exercise
  • Health related lifestyle
  • Physical fitness
  • Mental health

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