Research Study Abstract

Physical activity profiles in Parkinson’s disease

  • Published on February 13, 2021

Background: Identifying physical activity (PA) profiles of people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) could provide clinically meaningful knowledge concerning how to tailor PA interventions. Our objectives were therefore to i) identify distinct PA profiles in people with PD based on accelerometer data, ii) explore differences between the profiles regarding personal characteristics and physical function.

Methods: Accelerometer data from 301 participants (43% women, mean age: 71 years) was analysed using latent profile analyses of 15 derived PA variables. Physical function measurements included balance performance, comfortable gait speed and single and dual-task functional mobility.

Results: Three distinct profiles were identified; “Sedentary” (N = 68), “Light Movers” (N = 115), “Steady Movers” (N = 118). “Sedentary” included people with PD with high absolute and relative time spent in Sedentary behaviour (SB), little time light intensity physical activity (LIPA) and negligible moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). “Light Movers” were people with PD with values close to the mean for all activity variables. “Steady Movers” spent less time in SB during midday, and more time in LIPA and MVPA throughout the day, compared to the other profiles. “Sedentary” people had poorer balance (P = 0.006), poorer functional mobility (P = 0.027) and were more likely to have fallen previously (P = 0.027), compared to “Light Movers. The Timed Up and Go test, an easily performed clinical test of functional mobility, was the only test that could distinguish between all three profiles.

Conclusion: Distinct PA profiles, with clear differences in how the time awake is spent exist among people with mild-moderate PD.

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  • Philip von Rosen 1
  • Maria Hagströmer 1,2,3
  • Erika Franzén 1,4,5
  • Breiffni Leavy 1,5


  • 1

    Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Division of Physiotherapy, Karolinska Institutet, Alfred Nobels Allé 23, 141 83, Huddinge, Sweden

  • 2

    Academic Primary Care Center, Region Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

  • 3

    Department of Health Promoting Science, Sophiahemmet University, Stockholm, Sweden

  • 4

    Karolinska University Hospital, Medical unit Occupational Therapy & Physiotherapy, Theme Women’s Health and Allied Health Professionals, Stockholm, Sweden

  • 5

    Stockholms Sjukhem Foundation, Reseach and Development Department, Stockholm, Sweden


BMC Neurology

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