Is social physique anxiety (SPA) associated with physical activity intentions and behaviour in adults with schizophrenia? A cross-sectional analysis


Background. Most individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) are inactive, however the factors influencing physical activity (PA) within this population are understudied. Social physique anxiety (SPA) has been shown to be a significant predictor of PA in healthy populations. Within the SSD population, social anxiety in general has been found to influence PA, but SPA remains unexplored. The purpose of this study is to examine the associations between SPA and PA intentions and PA in individuals with SSD. Methods. As part of a larger 4-week prospective study examining theory-based PA predictors in adults with SSD, participants (N = 111, Mage = 41.09 ± 11.73 years, MBMI = 31.52 ± 8.48 kg/m2, 60% male, 67% diagnosed with schizophrenia) completed a series of instruments at week 4, including the 9-item SPA Scale (Martin et al., 1997), the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (Craig et al., 2003), and wore an accelerometer over a 7-day period. Correlation analyses were conducted to determine the relationships between SPA and (1) intentions to engage in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) and (2) objective and self-reported MVPA. Results. No significant correlations were found between SPA and either MPVA intentions (r = -.03), or objective (r = -.16) and self-reported (r = -.01) MVPA (all ps > .10). Conclusion. This was the first study to examine the relationship between SPA and PA intentions and behaviour in persons with SSD. Further investigation is needed to understand the role of body image perceptions on the promotion of PA within the SSD population.