Position statement. Part one: Immune function and exercise

Exerc Immunol Rev. 2011:17:6-63.


An ever-growing volume of peer-reviewed publications speaks to the recent and rapid growth in both scope and understanding of exercise immunology. Indeed, more than 95% of all peer-reviewed publications in exercise immunology (currently >2, 200 publications using search terms "exercise" and "immune") have been published since the formation of the International Society of Exercise and Immunology (ISEI) in 1989 (ISI Web of Knowledge). We recognise the epidemiological distinction between the generic term "physical activity" and the specific category of "exercise", which implies activity for a specific purpose such as improvement of physical condition or competition. Extreme physical activity of any type may have implications for the immune system. However, because of its emotive component, exercise is likely to have a larger effect, and to date the great majority of our knowledge on this subject comes from exercise studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / physiology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / immunology