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Exercise May Lower Parkinson’s Risk

According to new research, the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease may be reduced with moderate to vigorous exercise or other recreational activities. In a prospective study, scientists followed nearly 150,000 individuals with an average age of 63 over 10 years.

In that time, 413 people developed Parkinson’s disease. Researchers found that those with moderate to vigorous activity levels were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than those with no or light activity levels. Those with moderate to vigorous activity were exercising an average of a half hour per day or more.

The findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 – May 5, 2007.

“This study does not prove that exercise caused the lowered risk of Parkinson’s disease – it’s possible that something else lowers the risk,” said the study’s lead author Evan L. Thacker, SM, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA.

“But considering all of the other benefits of exercise, it certainly doesn’t hurt to make sure you get some moderate or vigorous exercise several times a week.”

The researchers also looked at the participants’ activity level at age 40 and found that there was no significant relationship between the level of physical activity at age 40 and the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

“If exercise truly does provide some protection against Parkinson’s disease, the protection may be relatively short term,” Thacker said.

“However, in a previous study with a similar prospective design activity in early adulthood was related to lower risk for Parkinson’s disease, so the jury’s still out on this one.”

Source: American Academyof Neurology

Exercise May Lower Parkinson’s Risk

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Exercise May Lower Parkinson’s Risk. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 17, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/04/24/exercise-may-lower-parkinsons-risk/778.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.