Authors: Black CD, O'Connor PJ, McCully KK.
Affiliation: The Department of Exercise Science, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
NLM Citation: PMID: 15745455
PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to sustain an increase in daily physical activity in CFS patients for 4 weeks and assess the effects on fatigue, muscle pain and overall mood.
METHOD: Six CFS and seven sedentary controls were studied. Daily activity was assessed by a CSA accelerometer. Following a two week baseline period, CFS subjects were asked to increase their daily physical activity by 30% over baseline by walking a prescribed amount each day for a period of four weeks. Fatigue, muscle pain and overall mood were reported daily using a 0 to 100 visual analog scale and weekly using the Profile of Mood States (Bipolar) questionnaire.
RESULTS: CFS patients had significantly lower daily activity counts than controls (162.5 ± 51.7 x 103 counts/day vs. 267.2 ± 79.5 x 103 counts/day) during a 2-week baseline period. At baseline, the CFS patients reported significantly (P < 0.01) higher fatigue and muscle pain intensity compared to controls but the groups did not differ in overall mood. CFS subjects increased their daily activity by 28 ± 19.7% over a 4 week period. Overall mood and muscle pain worsened in the CFS patients with increased activity.
CONCLUSIONS: CFS patients were able to increase their daily physical activity for a period of four weeks. In contrast to previous studies fatigue, muscle pain, and overall mood did not improve with increased activity. Increased activity was not presented as a treatment which may account for the differential findings between this and previous studies. The results suggest that a daily "activity limit" may exist in this population. Future studies on the impact of physical activity on the symptoms of CFS patients are needed.
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Last Revision: March 6, 2005
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