Recommendations for Physical Activity in Asthma: A Work Group Report of the AAAAI Sports, Exercise, and Fitness Committee

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2022 Feb;10(2):433-443. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2021.10.056. Epub 2021 Nov 26.


Regular physical activity not only improves general health but also can positively impact asthma outcomes, such as control and quality of life. Despite this, many asthma patients do not engage in regular physical activity because they mistakenly believe that they should restrict exercise participation. Health care providers have an opportunity to influence the physical activity levels of their patients during regular office visits. Nonetheless, health care providers often overlook physical activity counseling as an adjunct to pharmacological therapy in asthma patients, and in particular, overlook physical activity counseling. Some providers who acknowledge the benefits of physical activity report being unaware how to approach a conversation with patients about this topic. To address these issues, members of the Sports, Exercise, and Fitness Committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) performed a focused literature search to identify and evaluate the effects of physical activity in patients with asthma. The purpose of this report is to summarize the evidence for physical activity's impact on asthma patients' disease control, pulmonary function, and overall well-being. Several subpopulations of patients with asthma, including children, adolescents, and older adults, are considered individually. In addition, this report offers practical recommendations for clinicians, including how to identify and overcome barriers to counseling, and methods to incorporate physical activity counseling into asthma treatment practice.

Keywords: Asthma; Counseling; Physical activity; Providers.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aged
  • Asthma* / therapy
  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Sports*