The therapeutic effects of outdoor cycling (OC) and its benefits on physical activity (PA) were investigated in people with schizophrenia. Sixty patients with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to 16-weeks of Outdoor Cycling (OC) (n = 30, 50% male; mean age, 38.7 ± 10.1) or Occupational Therapy (OT) (n = 30, 50% male; mean age, 39.0 ± 8.6). OC and OT involved one 90-min group session per week. OC consisted of structured exercise programs and OT addressed daily living skills. Primary outcome measurements were mental health variables, such as Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Beck's Depression Inventory, State and Trait Anxiety Inventory, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Global Assessment of Functioning and executive function (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, WCST). Secondary measures were the adherence and PA. PA was measured by responding to the Physical Activity Scale (K-PASE) and wearing a pedometer for 2 days. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed improved psychotic symptoms (p = .014), depression (p = .007), state (p = .031) and trait anxiety (p = .002) and global functions (p = .024) in the OC group compared with OT group. The OC group showed increased correct rates (p = .022) and categories completed (p = .033) in the WCST. There was no difference in total K-PASE score between groups; however, there was a significant improvement in the number of daily steps in the OC group compared with the OT group (p = .030). OC significantly improved mental health and executive function in individuals with schizophrenia. Further, OC significantly increased PA measured by the pedometers. These findings suggest that OC offers a safe and attrition-lowering intervention promoting mental health and PA. cris.nih.go.kr identifier: KCT-0000873. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.