Exercises for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Constipation is one of the common disorders of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Chronic idiopathic constipation usually has no well defined underlying cause.

Constipation is seen among all age groups including the elderly and children. Constipation involves difficulty in passing stools. There are several risk factors associated with constipation. One important risk factor includes low level of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle.

Sedentary lifestyle and risk of constipation

With age and sedentary lifestyle the risk of constipation seems to increase. Further studies have shown that age, sedentary lifestyle and constipation association is more prominent among males than females.

However, the beneficial effects of walking and increased fibre intake on constipation are seen in both genders.

There are several studies on women too that have shown that low physical activity could be linked to increased risk of constipation.

Benefits of regular physical activity

Studies have concluded that moderate regular physical activity decreases the risk of chronic gastrointestinal symptoms of chronic constipation.

The cause for such benefits has been cited to be:-

  • improvement in blood flow to the lower gastrointestinal tract
  • changes in the neuronal mechanisms and local hormonal alterations

Body mass index (BMI) and constipation

Research has also shown that there is a direct correlation between increased body weight and body mass index and constipation. Increased BMI again is directly correlated with sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity along with an unhealthy low fibre and high fat diet.

Moderate exercise and frequency of defecation

Some studies have revealed that moderate exercise by bicycle and jogging for one hour per day at 50 percent maximum oxygen consumption intensity increase bowel motions and have a beneficial effect on frequency of defecation.

Patients with slow-transit constipation benefit most from moderate aerobic exercise. It increases gut transit but has little beneficial effect on defecation frequency. Strength (force-generating capacity) training on the other hand increases bowel transit time, moving the faeces faster, and also benefits middle-aged men who were previously sedentary.

Abdominal massage for constipation

Abdominal massage is another modality of therapy for constipation that has been practised since 1870. Over time, its therapeutic use has declined.

Now however many studies are taking another look at the efficacy of this modality of therapy. Some studies have shown that massage of the spastic abdomen for 15 to 20 minutes daily in a path following the ascending, transverse, and descending colons could help open the bowels within a half hour after the massage without the need for enemas.

Last Updated: Jun 4, 2019

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2019, June 04). Exercises for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC). News-Medical. Retrieved on March 05, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Exercises-for-Chronic-Idiopathic-Constipation-(CIC).aspx.

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Exercises for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)". News-Medical. 05 March 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Exercises-for-Chronic-Idiopathic-Constipation-(CIC).aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Exercises for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC)". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Exercises-for-Chronic-Idiopathic-Constipation-(CIC).aspx. (accessed March 05, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2019. Exercises for Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC). News-Medical, viewed 05 March 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Exercises-for-Chronic-Idiopathic-Constipation-(CIC).aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment