Published online Aug 16, 2018. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v6.i8.207
Peer-review started: March 29, 2018
First decision: April 13, 2018
Revised: April 27, 2018
Accepted: June 26, 2018
Article in press: June 27, 2018
Published online: August 16, 2018
The importance of exercise in the prevention of colorectal cancer has been well documented. However, an insufficient number of studies have examined the effects of the exercise or type of exercise on a colonic transit time (CTT). This study was performed to identify differences in CTT depending on the combined exercise. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between combined exercise and colon transit time in mentally ill patients to elucidate how a combined exercise program could promote gastrointestinal (GI) motility.
The previous studies that have investigated the effects of increasing physical activity by participation in an exercise program and changes in CTT have largely involved healthy subjects with a normal lifestyle. However, no studies reported in the publicly available literature to date have reported on the effects of exercise on colonic function in mentally ill patients residing in a closed hospital ward. Therefore, we examined the effect of a combined exercise program on CTT among mentally ill patients who were admitted to a closed ward.
The research objective of this investigation was to examine the effects of physical activities and exercise on CTT in mentally ill patients in a closed ward and determine whether physical activity and exercise improve GI motility.
Over a 6-mo period, 52 consecutive patients with mental illness were recruited from the Somang Hospital Psychiatry Unit. A combined exercise program was implemented 60 min per day, 3 d a week, for 12 wk. Fitness and CTT were measured twice before and twice after the exercise program. The CTT of patients in the two groups were compared for different clinical situations (combined exercise group vs control group).
The patients in the exercise group showed exercise-induced improvement in leg strength. Improvements in grip strength, YMCA step test, vertical jump, and sit and reach were also exhibited by the exercise group. Segmental colon transit times (RSCTT and TCTT) decreased in the combined exercise group. The results of this study are meaningful, as they provide physical fitness data for mentally ill patients at baseline and after a 12-wk combined exercise program aimed at this population.
This research is significant, as it provides basic evidence in support of prescribing exercise to specific patients who are admitted to a closed ward. Among the patients who were admitted to a closed ward, participation in an exercise program improved leg strength and reduced CTT. Therefore, regular exercise is considered essential to improve physical health and reduce CTT among mentally ill patients.
One of the most common signs of low GI motility is constipation. An important cause of low GI motility, and one of the easiest to correct, is physical inactivity. A long-term (12-wk) combined exercise program is sufficient to reap the potential benefits for GI motility and positively impact fitness and CTT to affect the overall health of mentally ill patients.