The role of a fitness intervention on people with serious psychiatric disabilities.

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects a health education and exercise program would have in limiting weight gain and in improving fitness and psychological parameters in adults with mood or psychotic disorders. Thirty volunteers were randomly assigned to the healthy lifestyle group (HL) or a control group. The HL group engaged in exercise for 12 weeks. Pre- and post-exercise testing was conducted to assess body fat, lipid profile, and cardiovascular fitness. Educational seminars were held weekly. The intervention group evidenced greater weight loss than the control group, although not statistically significant. Significant differences were observed in ratings of general health (p < .05) and empowerment (p < .01). Trends suggest that exercise interventions may encourage weight loss, particularly if barriers to full participation can be addressed. Additionally, such interventions may contribute to “perceived” well-being even among those with subclinical participation.