Overcoming the Fear of Exercise

by Loren Caban, Physiotherapist



Kinesiophobia is defined as “an excessive, irrational, and debilitating fear of physical movement and activity resulting from a feeling of vulnerability due to painful injury or re-injury”.


Kinesiophobia may contribute to:

  • pain developing from acute to chronic presentation

  • catastrophisation

  • fear avoidance behaviour

  • an overall perception of more pain


Long term this may lead to:

  • decreased activity

  • disuse of muscles

  • depression

  • an increase of disability





Overall, exercise is known to improve muscular strength, cardiovascular health status, pain sensitivity, pain intensity, pain acceptance, anxiety and depression, memory, mood and levels of fatigue.


Research has demonstrated that attending 5-6 Physiotherapist-led group exercise classes may decrease kinesiophobia and functional disability for a range of conditions.


At PhysioMax we have 9 resistance-based exercise classes available per week.  Classes are filled with 5-6 likeminded individuals that are set up on individualised programs to meet their needs and current exercise level.  Classes are fully supervised by a Physiotherapist to ensure that exercises are performed safely, with correct technique and so that programs may be modified on the spot if there any concerns or issues on the day.  Classes are up to 60 minutes in duration with drink breaks or rest breaks as individuals feel they need.  It is a safe and friendly environment to start exercising for individuals with kinesiophobia.


Please contact the PhysioMax clinic on 5574 4255