Effects of a low-resistance, interval bicycling intervention in Parkinson's Disease

Physiother Theory Pract. 2017 Dec;33(12):897-904. doi: 10.1080/09593985.2017.1359868. Epub 2017 Aug 16.


Previous studies have shown that people with Parkinson's disease (PD) benefit from a variety of exercise modalities with respect to symptom management and function. Among the possible exercise modalities, speedwork has been identified as a promising strategy, with direct implications for the rate and amplitude of nervous system involvement. Considering that previous speed-based exercise for PD has often been equipment, personnel and/or facility dependent, and often time intensive, our purpose was to develop a population-specific exercise program that could be self-administered with equipment that is readily found in fitness centers or perhaps the home. Fourteen individuals with PD (Hoehn-Yahr (H-Y) stage of 3.0 or less) participated in twelve 30-min sessions of low-resistance interval training on a stationary recumbent bicycle. Motor examination section of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS), 10-meter walk (10mW), timed-up-and-go (TUG), functional reach, four-square step test (4SST), nine-hole peg test (9HPT) and simple reaction time scores all exhibited significant improvements (p < 0.05). These results add further support to the practice of speedwork for people with PD and outline a population-amenable program with high feasibility.

Keywords: Exercise; motor function; neurological diseases; quickness; symptom management mobility.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Bicycling*
  • Cognition
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology
  • Parkinson Disease / psychology
  • Parkinson Disease / therapy*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walk Test