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25 Sep 2023

Helping people with Parkinson’s enjoy an active lifestyle

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Parkinson’s UK is delivering more physical activity programmes that are helping people living with Parkinson’s to enjoy an active lifestyle and live well with the condition. Whether it’s through our physical activity grants programme, our active partnerships, or our work with health and social care professionals and the collective Parkinson’s community, we want as many people living with the condition to find an activity that works for them.

Why it’s important to be active with Parkinson’s

Research has shown that regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity can help relieve some of the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s, as well as improving overall mental and physical wellbeing. The physical benefits of being active can include:

  • better muscle and bone strength
  • improved flexibility and joint mobility
  • improved balance and a reduced risk of falls
  • higher energy levels and better sleep
  • lower stress levels and lower blood pressure
  • reduced risk of developing other health problems such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, dementia and some cancers.

On average, adults are recommended to try being active for at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) each week and regular physical activity can become even more important when you live with a long term health condition, such as Parkinson’s.

Being active doesn’t mean running marathons, but it’s about encouraging people living with Parkinson’s to have the confidence to develop an active routine and to keep going. As a charity, we are committed to helping more people living with the condition to find the activity that’s right for them.

From walking football to dance, and Nordic walking to tennis, we are working with more active providers, National Governing Bodies and Parkinson’s professionals to help raise the profile of physical activity for people with Parkinson’s.

Physical activity groups and classes can also provide opportunities for people living with the condition to meet new people and socialise at a time when many have reported experiencing increased social isolation.

Our Being Active with Parkinson’s guide offers more advice and support to help more people living with the condition to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Applying for a physical activity grant Since 2021, our physical activity grants programme has awarded more than £170,000 in funding, and supported more than 80 new active projects across the UK for people with Parkinson’s. We are looking for more Parkinson’s professionals and activity providers to help support the Parkinson’s community across the UK and you can apply for a physical activity grant by visiting our website.

Getting involved with the Parkinson’s Excellence Network and Exercise Hub

We are transforming health and care services for people with Parkinson's across the UK. We are achieving this by bringing together and supporting health and social care professionals to share best practice, provide resources and education, and drive improvements to services for people with Parkinson’s and their families.

Being part of the Excellence Network allows you to collaborate with the collective Parkinson's professional community and learn more about Parkinson's as a long term health condition. You can sign up to receive the Excellence Network e-newsletter or request to join one of the Network’s regional or specialist interest groups. This includes the Excellence Network Exercise Hub, led by Beccy Oliver and Julie Jones, specialist Physiotherapists.

Julie Jones, Chief Scientific Officer and Parkinson’s UK Clinical Academic Fellow, said:

The Exercise Hub is formed of a group of exercise and physical activity professionals who are passionate about improving services for people with Parkinson’s. The Hub provides monthly educational and practical webinars, and is an informal way to share and support best practice.”

Beccy Oliver, Neurological Physiotherapist, said:

“The Exercise Hub is a great way for us to engage with activity providers and Parkinson’s professionals, while offering training, advice and support about the best ways to engage with the Parkinson’s community. The Hub is also helping to increase the quality of provision and raise the profile of physical activity for people with Parkinson’s.”

Come and see us at the Therapy Expo, stand TF65. You can find out more about the benefits of our Physical Activity programme and how to get involved in the Exercise Hub and Excellence Network.

To find out more about our Physical Activity programme, contact


To find out how you can be a part of the Exercise Hub and Excellence Network, contact


Why not follow us on Twitter/X?

For the Exercise Hub, search @ParkinsonsENEx

For the Excellence Network, search @ParkinsonsEN


Media enquiries

For more information please contact Sophie Sylvester, Media & PR Officer at Parkinson’s UK, on 020 7963 9332 or ssylvester@parkinsons.org.uk.

Note to editors

About Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 145,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s.

We are Parkinson's UK. Here for everyone affected by the condition. Funding research into the most promising treatments, taking us closer to a cure every day. Fighting for fair treatment and better services.

Read more facts and statistics.

Further information, advice and support is available on our website,

www.parkinsons.org.uk or our free, confidential helpline on 0808 800 0303

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