Schizophrenia and Exercise

One of QCMHR’s researchers; Dr Shuichi Suetani, has published a chapter on Schizophrenia and Exercise with co-author Dr Davy Vancampfort, in the recently released, Exercise-Based Interventions for Mental Illness. The chapter outlines the current clinical conceptualization of schizophrenia and explores its relationship to physical activity.

High rates of mortality and morbidity among sufferers of this brain disorder could potentially be lowered through physical activity intervention, according to Dr Suetani’s research. Schizophrenia affects approximately 1% of people worldwide and can lower life expectancy by up to 20 years. Currently, the most common treatment for people with Schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication. It has been shown to reduce relapses and is associated with a 20% lower mortality

Dr Suetani’s chapter introduces how exercise can also be used as treatment to increase the wellbeing of people living with this disorder. He details the ways in which physical activity improves both physical and mental health, as well as reduces symptoms. Dr Suetani explains that exercise can increase cardiorespiratory fitness, which is significantly lower in in people with Schizophrenia and is an important risk factor of cardiometabolic diseases.

Having completed his medical degree with distinction in psychological medicine from the University of Otago in New Zealand, Dr Suetani moved to Adelaide to start his medical career. He is now working for the Browns Plains, Beenleigh and Beaudesert Psychosis team, and has numerous first author publications in high impact journals including JAMA Psychiatry, and currently sits on the editorial board for Australasian Psychiatry.

Dr Suetani is in the process of completing a PhD exploring the epidemiological relationships between physical activity and mental disorders using large Australian datasets under supervision of Professor John McGrath and Associate Professor James Scott at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research.

Read more about the book’s release at Black Dog Institute.

Exercise-Based Interventions for Mental Illness, 2018, Dr Brendon Stubbs & Dr Simon Rosenbaum (Eds.)

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