Exercise, Immunity, and Illness

Arwel Wyn Jones, Glen Davison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally accepted that moderate amounts of exercise improve immune system functions and hence reduce the risk of infection whereas athletes engaged in regular prolonged and/or intensive training have a higher than "normal" incidence of minor infections, especially of the upper respiratory tract (URT, e.g., common cold and influenza). This is likely related to regular acute (and possibly chronic) periods of exercise-induced changes in immune function. URT infections can compromise performance directly if suffered shortly before or during competition or indirectly if suffered at other times via effects on training and/or physiological adaptations. This chapter covers the effects of exercise (acute and chronic), both positive and negative, on immune function and consequent infection risk, and considers the current state-of-the-art for monitoring and assessing this in athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMuscle and Exercise Physiology
EditorsJerzy A. Zoladz
Place of PublicationLondon UK
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780128145944
ISBN (Print)9780128145937
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Athlete
  • Endurance
  • Performance
  • Training
  • Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)

Cite this