Exercise may benefit patients with schizophrenia

Chiao Chu Wang, Hao Yi Hsu, Tsung Min Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that often develops in adolescence, which impacts patients, families, and society. Although research on the beneficial effects of exercise in patients with schizophrenia is scant, it is worth reviewing the relevant studies in order to gain some insight into finding alternative ways for improvement in patients. We start with discussing the possible aetiology of schizophrenia and then review studies on exercise and schizophrenia. Although there are different and unsettled issues related to the aetiologies of schizophrenia, neuroscience studies have demonstrated that patients with schizophrenia possess abnormal brain structures, with elements such as a smaller hippocampus and abnormal neurotransmitters systems. As for the benefits of exercise, although some researches have shown that exercise can improve the psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia, most of the researches suffer from methodological problems such as too-small sample size, non-random assignment, and inconsistent results. The only study that took a neuroscience approach still suffered from a small sample size that replication with larger sample is warranted. Future interventional studies should target randomised controlled trials with large sample size and control the effect of medication. These efforts may shed light on finding suitable exercise prescription for patients with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-114
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 2


  • exercise
  • neuroscience
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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