Barriers to Exercise in People With Parkinson Disease

Terry Ellis, Jennifer K. Boudreau, Tamara R. DeAngelis, Lisa E. Brown, James T. Cavanaugh, Gammon M. Earhart, Matthew P. Ford, K. Bo Foreman, Leland E. Dibble

Discussion Podcast: Barriers to Exercise in People With Parkinson Disease

Participants: Terry Ellis, PT, PhD, NCS, Director, Center for Neurorehabilitation, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University, Massachusetts, and Jennifer Brach, PT, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Moderator: Kathleen Gill-Body, PT, DPT, NCS, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Rehabilitation Services, Dover, Massachusetts, and Editorial Board Member, PTJ.

This podcast is sponsored by

Files in this Data Supplement:

  • Discussion Podcast - Exercise is known to reduce disability and improve quality of life in people with Parkinson disease (PD). In "Barriers to Exercise in People With Parkinson Disease" (May 2013), Terry Ellis and colleagues investigated barriers that prevent many people with PD from participating in an exercise program over the long term. According to the study, 3 main barriers separated "exercisers" from "nonexercisers": low outcome expectations, lack of time to exercise, and fear of falling. In this PTJ podcast, Ellis is joined by Jennifer Brach and moderator Kathleen Gill-Body to discuss the results of the study, how to overcome the barriers, and new approaches to enabling people to exercise over the course of this degenerative disease. The group also considers the role that depression and duration of PD play and the importance of the physician in exercise participation.

    Running time: 22:39 (31.7 MB)

    Discussion Podcast: Barriers to Exercise in People With Parkinson Disease:
    Length: 22:35

    Quick Grabs

    Gill-Body: "This whole idea of self-efficacy—whether or not an individual believes that they can exercise successfully and whether or not it's going to give them a benefit—is huge."

    Brach: "We don't challenge them enough. We're under-dosing them. They're doing chair exercises when they're out in the community walking around."

    Ellis: "If their doctor hasn't told them that exercise is something they should engage in, they tend to not think it's important or not value it."


    van Nimwegen M, Speelman AD, Hofman-van Rossum EJM, et al. Physical inactivity in Parkinson's disease. J Neurol. 2011;258:2214-2221.

    Grandes G, Sanchez A, Sanchez-Pinilla RO, et al. Effectiveness of physical activity advice and prescription by physicians in routine primary care: a cluster randomized trial. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:694-701.

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