A study of a structured exercise program with members of an ICCD Certified Clubhouse: program design, benefits, and implications for feasibility.

Individuals with serious mental illness (SMI) have significantly greater risk of comorbid health problems and premature death, and there is need for interventions that can improve physical fitness and overall health. Accordingly, a study was conducted which evaluated the effectiveness of a structured physical exercise program that was developed as part of a wellness project in an ICCD Certified Clubhouse. Seventeen clubhouse members completed a 16-week program with evidence of significant improvement in aerobic capacity and perceived mental health as well as positive trends in perceived improvements in physical and social functioning. Qualitative data indicated satisfaction with the program by all participants, especially the value of group support, while also highlighting the need for greater attention to nutrition as part of a future program. Moreover, the study found that a structured exercise program can be successfully provided to members of an ICCD Certified Clubhouse.