Engaging refugee trauma clients in healthy living practices is crucial to providing a solid foundation for brain health to support therapeutic interventions to further heal the mind and body, and hence regain a sense of control over body sensations, thoughts and feelings. Interventions targeting physical activity have repeatedly been shown to be efficacious in the augmentative treatment of a range of mental disorders. PTSD is associated with high rates of somatic comorbidities including metabolic syndrome contributing to an excess mortality rate due to preventable cardiovascular diseases.
This presentation provides an overview of the available literature regarding physical activity and PTSD, with specific reference to the first published clinical trial of exercise for severe PTSD conducted in Sydney, as well as implications for clinical practice and future research. Based on the available evidence, there is reason to be optimistic that physical activity interventions delivered by physical therapists and exercise physiologists add a feasible and scalable component to the treatment of PTSD.