The effect of a multi-modal boxing exercise program on cognitive locomotor tasks and gait in persons with Parkinson disease

Staci Shearin, Michael Braitsch, Ross Querry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive neurological disease resulting in motor impairments, postural instability, and gait alterations which may result in self-care limitations and loss of mobility reducing quality of life. OBJECTIVE: This study's purpose was to determine the impact of a community-based boxing program on gait parameters, dual task and backwards walking in individuals with PD. METHODS: This study included 26 community dwelling individuals with PD who participated in 12-week boxing classes (1 hour, 2 times a week). The focus was on upper/lower extremity exercises using punching bags, agility drills, and strengthening activities. Pre/post testing was performed for dual task and gait parameters and was analyzed using t-tests. RESULTS: Analysis of the scores indicated participants performed significantly better at post-test compared to pre-test on self-selected walking velocity (P = 0.041), cadence (P = 0.021); backwards walking velocity (P = 0.003), step length (P = 0.022); dual task walking velocity (P = 0.044), step length (P = 0.023), and gait variability index (P = 0.008). No significant differences for fast walking. CONCLUSIONS: Multi-modal boxing produced improvements in gait velocity, dual task velocity, step length, and gait variability, as well as backwards walking velocity and step length. These improvements may impact independence with functional mobility and may improve safety but require further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Boxing
  • Community program
  • Gait
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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