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Effect of exercise on psychiatric inpatients

Exercise has always been linked to the mental health of humans and many studies have been conducted to know more in detail about it. Physical activities have proven roles in fighting depression symptoms, anxiety etc. Now, scientists have stepped up for a new research in the field by introducing a gym in a psychiatric inpatient unit to study the effects it has on the inpatients. Psychiatric inpatients are complex in nature and suffer from a range of disorders. Also, such facilities are often crowded leaving the patients in a more stressful atmosphere. Prof. David Tomasi, a lecturer, psychotherapist, and inpatient psychiatry group therapist wishes to improve the facility’s operations and help patients receive targeted treatment while helping them recover and take leave as soon as possible. He designed an experiment that combined physical activity with information about healthful nutrition — building a holistic, drug-free intervention. As a part of the study, a gym was set up in a facility. It was provided with ambient space and lighting, making the setting provide patients with a different ambience from the rest of the facility. 100 participants suffering from different mental health issues were made to exercise regularly for 60 minutes daily and another 60 minutes of education sessions were provided to make them aware of diets, nutritional factors etc. Outcome of the study was overwhelming as 91.5% of participants reported that they felt better about their bodies after work out and also that their mood has improved with evident reduction in anxiety. “The general attitude of medicine is that you treat the primary problem first, and exercise was never considered to be a life or death treatment option. Now that we know it's so effective, it can become as fundamental as pharmacological intervention.", says Prof. David Tomasi.