Physical Activity Guidelines for Traumatic Brain Injury

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Although many people think of health in terms of illness, health is a positive concept that covers your physical, mental and social well-being. Physical activity, defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure, benefits every aspect of health. Regular physical activity shows benefits for everyone including children, adolescents, adults, older adults, and people with a disability across all ethnic groups and importantly has been shown to reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases, such as Coronary Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Stroke, Cancer, Osteoporosis and Depression. [1] Physical activity can also improve bone and functional health and as a key determinant of energy expenditure, is fundamental to energy balance and weight control.

The World Health Organisation developed Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health with the overall aim of providing national and regional level policy makers with guidance on the dose-response relationship between the frequency, duration, intensity, type and total amount of physical activity needed for the prevention of Non Communicable Diseases. While these guidelines were not specifically tailored to the traumatic brain injury population, the WHO suggest that the recommendations could be applied to adults with disabilities with adjustment to the guidelines for each individual based on their exercise capacity and specific health risks or limitations. [2]

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  1. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, 2008. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008. 
  2. World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. World Health Organization; 2010.