The physical health and exercise research area aims to design, develop and evaluate physical health interventions for young people affected by mental health disorders. These physical health interventions are aimed at reversing or preventing the poor physical health that can be associated with mental health disorders and they may also act as a way of improving mental health as well. Physical health encapsulates a number of areas including cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, sexual and reproductive and dental.
Why is this research area important?
People affected by enduring mental health disorders have poorer physical and sexual health compared to their non-affected peers. This can negatively impact on quality of life and have serious repercussions in the longer term in regards to a reduced life expectancy. Importantly, the factors that increase this risk of poor physical health, such as sedentary behaviour, poor diet, smoking and substance use are potentially reversible. Therefore, the physical health and exercise program at Orygen aims to abolish this health inequality by designing and evaluating interventions aimed at improving the physical health of young people affected by mental health disorders.
- What interventions will be effective in preventing or reversing the poor physical health observed in young people affected by mental health disorders
- Can interventions for physical health also be effective for treating mental health disorders
- What are the most effective ways to ensure that the benefits from these interventions are sustained throughout a young persons life