Exercise training effect on obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Sleep Res Online. 2000;3(3):121-9.


The role, if any, of exercise training in the management of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is unclear. Anecdotally, patients have reported improvement in symptoms with regular participation in an exercise regime. In this study, we evaluated the effects of an exercise training program and weight loss on physical and subjective measures associated with OSAS. Nine subjects with mild to moderate OSAS completed a six month supervised exercise program. Pre and post-training measures on polysomnographic testing, physical training, anthropometric measures, quality of life (QOL), daytime somnolence and mood states were assessed. A significant decrease in the AHI (p=0.002) was noted along with improvements (p<0.05) in total sleep time, sleep efficiency, number of awakenings/hour, arousals/hour, apnea index and mean exercise training workloads. Significant decreases (p<.001) in weight (-6.2 kg) and body mass index (-1.6) were observed. Evaluation of QOL measures by the Health Status Questionnaire, Profile of Mood States and Epworth Sleepiness Scale showed significant changes in health status, affective state, and a decrease in daytime somnolence. Regular exercise training had a positive impact on the AHI, aerobic capacity, body mass index and QOL. However, exercise training alone was not an adequate intervention strategy for most individuals with OSAS but may serve well as an adjunct treatment strategy in the conservative management of individuals with mild to moderate OSAS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome