This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

Supporting asthma patients to exercise

Written by: | Published:

Asthma is the most common symptomatic long-term condition and affects a significant proportion of the UK population.

Figures taken from general practice QOF data show that it has a known prevalence of 5.9 per cent; as the UK population is around 62.1 million, this means there are currently 3.65 million people with asthma, of all ages, on current treatments on our asthma registers.1 Of these, many will feel they are unable to undertake regular exercise because of actual (or fear of) symptoms being triggered by exercise. Therefore many people with asthma are missing out on the benefits of exercise.

Asthma is a reversible disease, characterised by hyper-responsiveness of the bronchial tree to a variety of stimuli or triggers. Common triggers include viral infections, allergens, cigarette smoke, cold air and exercise.2 During a hyper-responsive asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten, the airways swell and can fill with mucous.3

This causes the classic symptom of breathlessness and characteristic wheeze as the airflow is hampered, which can be frightening enough, but when it occurs on, or during, exercise it can be a deterrent to exercise. Such attacks are referred to as exercise-induced asthma (EIA).3

Please login or register to read the rest of the article and to have access to downloads and comments.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.