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Can Boxing Boost Quality Of Life In People With Parkinson?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by In Love With Medicine, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. In Love With Medicine

    In Love With Medicine Golden Member

    Jan 18, 2020
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    A specialized boxing program may help ease non-motor symptoms of Parkinson disease (PD) such as depression and anxiety, and lead to improved quality of life, a survey of participants suggests.

    Rock Steady Boxing (RSB) is a nonprofit, non-contact fitness program designed specifically for people with Parkinson disease. In 90-minute group classes, participants work with a coach on a tailored boxing routine to gain strength, speed, agility, endurance, hand-eye coordination, footwork and accuracy.

    There are currently 871 RSB sites around the world serving about 43,500 Parkinson's patients, according to the program's website (

    "This survey study was important because Rock Steady Boxing is growing in number of sites worldwide and in popularity with Parkinson's patients. It is therefore necessary to understand what RSB is doing for participants with PD, so that clinicians can be informed whether or not to recommend RSB participation to their patients, especially when there are so many exercise options out there," Dr. Danielle Larson, a neurologist and movement-disorders fellow at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, told Reuters Health by email.

    She and her colleagues surveyed 1,709 people with Parkinson disease (mean age, 69; 59% male), including 1,499 current or former RSB participants and 210 who never participated in RSB. There were no between-group differences in number of years since diagnosis. A higher percentage of participants were retired and married or partnered.

    Among RSB participants, 43% attended an average of three or more classes per week, 48% attended two classes per week and 9% attended one class per week.

    Based on survey responses, most of the RSB participants reported improvements in social life (70%), fatigue (63%), fear of falling (62%), mood (60%) and anxiety (59%). The vast majority of current and past RSB participants would recommend it others suffering from Parkinson's disease.

    Current RSB participants also scored better than non-participants on assessments of quality of life and willingness to exercise.

    "We know that exercise is very important in Parkinson's, and more data is suggesting that it could slow disease progression. This survey adds to the exercise in Parkinson's literature by showing that the majority of RSB participants report improvement in difficult-to-treat non-motor symptoms through participation in the exercise program. Furthermore, the survey found that RSB participants have better quality of life and exercise self-efficacy scores compared to non-participants," Dr. Larson said.

    "This adds to the growing options of exercise recommendations for Parkinson's, but specifically suggests that RSB should be recommended for improving non-motor symptoms, and potentially improving quality of life and exercise self-efficacy," she added.

    A limitation of the study was that the survey was taken only once. Also, RSB participants and non-participants were not followed to see how their scores changed over time.

    Dr. Larson will present full results of the survey in April at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada.

    The study had no specific funding and the authors have disclosed on conflicts of interest.

    —Megan Brooks


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  2. Xarton

    Xarton Young Member

    Mar 14, 2022
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    That's an interesting suggestion. But I think it's important to consult with the doctor before signing up for anything.

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