Ambulatory Activity in People with Early Parkinson's Disease Academic Article uri icon


  • People with Parkinson's disease (PD) are encouraged to participate in physical activity levels equivalent to those recommended for the general population. Understanding factors that influence this activity is important for facilitating this participation. This study examined factors associated with participation in moderate and high intensity daily ambulatory activity in people with mild to moderate PD. Fifty community-dwelling people with mild-moderate PD were monitored with accelerometers over three days to characterise their daily ambulatory activity levels. Personal factors, disease characteristics, gait and cognitive capacity were measured. Prediction models were created to identify factors influencing ambulation activity. People with PD spent approximately 77 minutes walking per day, mostly at a moderate intensity resulting in a median of 6300 steps/day. Disease severity predicted time spent in moderate ambulation bouts (R2 = 0.116, p = .017). Gait (Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test) and executive function together predicted engagement in high intensity ambulatory activity (R2 > 0.170, p < .022). While disease severity, gait performance and executive function were predictive of engagement in moderate and high intensity walking activity, additional personal and social factors should be considered and are likely to also strongly impact on activity levels.


publication date

  • 2016