Studies indicate that physical activity has a positive effect both physiologically and socially for psychologically ill and vulnerable people, and that this effect is the same or greater for psychologically well-functioning people. In spite of this, treatment sites often hesitate to include sports and physical activity as part of the treatment offered. This article argues that there is a strong correlation between the body and mind, but from a different point of view than that adopted by the prevalent scientific research in the field. Specifically, I elucidate how the mind-body relationship and self-consciousness are influenced by physical activity for people with schizophrenia, and argue that symptoms are relieved as a result of physical activity. Consciousness has a bodily component that, for people with schizophrenia, is less well-integrated in the consciousness than for psychologically well-functioning people, and sports and physical activity can help facilitate this integration. My argument is based partly on phenomenological concepts and partly on an empirical research project concerning physical activity for people with schizophrenia. The conclusion is that their level of functioning and self-assessed quality of life increased markedly through physical activity. The purpose of the present article is thus partly to qualify the treatment chosen for people with schizophrenia, and partly to qualify the theoretical discussion concerning the role played by the body and physical activity in connection with consciousness and relief.
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