Researchers suggest the findings support the creation of exercise programmes to help lower risk of the disease.
Getting regular exercise such as cycling, walking, gardening, cleaning and participating in sports may decrease the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in women, a study suggests.
Women who exercised the most had a 25% lower rate of the condition when compared to those who exercised the least.
The research also found that 10 years before diagnosis, levels of exercise fell at a faster rate in those with Parkinson’s than in those without, likely due to early symptoms of the disease.
Experts suggest the findings support the creation of exercise programmes to help lower the risk of Parkinson’s.
Our results support the creation of exercise programmes to help lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease
They were asked how far they walked and how many flights of stairs they climbed daily, how many hours they spent on household activities as well as how much time they spent doing moderate recreational activities such as gardening and more vigorous activities such as sports.
Researchers assigned each activity a score based on the metabolic equivalent of a task (METs), a way to quantify energy expenditure.
For each activity, METs were multiplied by their frequency and duration in order to get a physical activity score of METs-hours per week.
For example, a more intense form of exercise like cycling was six METs, while less intense exercise such as walking and cleaning was three METs.
The average physical activity level for participants was 45 METs-hours per week at the start of the study.
Women in the study were divided into four equal groups of just over 24,000 people each.
At the start of the study, those in the highest group had an average physical activity score of 71 METs-hours per week, while those in the lowest had an average score of 27.
In the group that did the most exercise, there were 246 cases of Parkinson’s disease, compared to 286 cases in the lowest exercise group.
After adjusting for factors such as place of residence, age of first period and menopausal status, and smoking, researchers found those in the highest exercise group had a 25% lower rate of developing Parkinson’s disease than those in the lowest exercise group when physical activity was assessed up to 10 years before diagnosis.
They found this association remained when physical activity was assessed up to 15 or 20 years before diagnosis.
This was the last pasrt of the artilce sorry….
The results were similar after adjusting for diet or medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, researchers found.
The findings were published in the Neurology journal.