Many patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can successfully participate in sports. However, certain findings may require modification of what is done and how. In general a patient with an inflammatory bowel disease should be encouraged to exercise as much as he or she can provided that it can be done safely.


In general a patient should have few restrictions if they have:

(1) disease in remission

(2) mild and intermittent disease


In general a patient will have significant restrictions if they have:

(1) severe disease

(2) a significant flare-up in disease activity




risk of dehydration and heat-related illness; problems in swimming pools; need to be near a bathroom


increased risk for fracture; weight-bearing exercise may improve bone density


limited joint mobility

abdominal pain

limited ability to exercise


adverse impact of medications on the ability to exercise

history of recent abdominal surgery

may limit the ability to participate in contact sports

extensive bowel resection

may not be able to meet energy requirements

muscle weakness

decreased performance in strenuous activities


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.