Purpose: Brisk walking forms the foundation of aerobic training regimes within a pulmonary rehabilitation service for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Repeated bouts of aerobic training are encouraged in the domestic environment. This study was designed to examine the discriminatory properties of an activity monitor, to assess if brisk walking can be identified clearly from all other activities of daily living. Secondly, the authors examined the overall level of activity generated by patients with COPD compared with a healthy control population.
Methods: Eleven patients with COPD and nine age-matched healthy controls were recruited. All subjects were required to wear an activity monitor for 48 hours. Subjects simultaneously recorded their activity (grouped into 10 categories) to the nearest minute.
Results: The data indicated that the monitors can detect brisk walking as a distinct activity in patients and a control population. The healthy individuals achieve a significantly higher level of activity than patients, but that the duration of this high intensity activity (i.e., brisk walking) is significantly lower than the patient group. Total activity was not correlated with age, sex, or forced expiratory volume in 1 second.
Conclusion: Activity monitors have the capacity to discriminate brisk walking from other domestic activities and can be used to identify low levels of domestic activity in the patient population.