Improve Parkinson’s Symptoms with More Physical Activity

February 21, 2017 in STSMPT

A new study from the University of Michigan shows that everyday physical activity is linked with less severe motor symptoms in Parkinson’s patients.1 The good news is the activity doesn’t have to include vigorous exercise. Taking your dog for a walk, working in the garden, or going grocery shopping are great examples of ways to increase daily activity.


The research included 48 people with Parkinson’s disease, most of whom had moderate severity of symptoms. Those who took part in daily physical activity had less severe motor symptoms. These participants showed the greatest improvement in gait speed and balance. Consult with your healthcare professional about the best physical activity routine for you and your specific symptoms.


Other research has shown that dancing2, brisk walks3, and various forms of exercise and physical therapy4 provides Parkinson’s patients with numerous symptom improvements and benefits. Our therapists can work with you on an individualized plan that fits your strength, flexibility, and stamina.



  1. Snider J, Muller M, Kotagal V, et al. Non-exercise physical activity attenuates motor symptoms in Parkinson disease independent from nigrostriatal degeneration. Parkinsonism Relat Disord, 2015; 21(10): 1227-1231.
  2. Earhart G. Dance as therapy for individuals with Parkinson disease. European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. 2009 June; 45(2): 231-238.
  3. Bohnen N, Frey K, Studenski S, et al. Gait speed in Parkinson disease correlates with cholinergic degeneration. Neurology, 2013; 81 (18): 1611-1616.
  4. Tomlinson C, Patel S, Meek C, et al. Physiotherapy intervention in Parkinson’s disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, 2012;345:e5004.
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