• Parkinson's disease;
  • exercise;
  • Nordic walking;
  • physical therapy


Nordic walking may improve mobility in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here, we examined whether the beneficial effects persist after the training period. We included 19 PD patients [14 men; mean age 67.0 years (range 58–76); Hoehn and Yahr stage range 1–3] who received a 6-week Nordic walking exercise program. Outcome was assessed prior to training (T1), immediately after the training period (T2) and—in a subgroup of 9 patients—5 months after training (T3). At T2, we observed a significant improvement in timed 10-m walking, the timed get-up-and-go-test (TUG), the 6-min walking test and quality of life (PDQ-39). All treatment effects persisted at T3. Compliance was excellent, and there were no adverse effects. These preliminary findings suggest that Nordic walking could provide a safe, effective, and enjoyable way to reduce physical inactivity in PD and to improve the quality of life. A large randomized clinical trial now appears justified. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society