Background: Walking is the fundamental component of taking steps and is the main form of physical activity among individuals with schizophrenia; it also offers a range of health benefits. This study aimed to examine the associations between daily steps and cognitive function and further explored how many steps were related to better cognitive function among inpatients with schizophrenia. Methods: Inpatients with schizophrenia were recruited from long-stay psychiatric wards across two hospitals (n=199 at site 1 and n=195 at site 2). Daily steps were collected with an accelerometer for 7 days. Four cognitive domains (attention, processing speed, reaction time, and motor speed) were tested at site 1, and two cognitive domains (attention and processing speed) were tested at site 2. The associations of daily steps and levels of steps/day with cognitive function were tested using multivariable linear regressions separated by site. Covariates included demographic variables, weight status, metabolic parameters, and clinical state. Results: Participants took an average of 7445 (±3442) steps/day. More steps were related to better attention, processing speed, reaction time, and motor speed after multivariable adjustments. Compared with participants taking <5000 steps/day, those taking ≥5000 steps/day showed significantly better processing speed. Participants taking ≥7500 steps/day were associated with better attention, better reaction time, and better motor speed than those taking <5000 steps/day. Conclusion: Daily steps are associated with better cognitive function among inpatients with schizophrenia. The optimal benefit for cognitive function among this clinical population is achieving 7500 steps/day or more.
- Physical activity
- Psychiatric disorder