Patients with asthma experience disruptions in usual activities that can impair their quality of life, and in patients whose daily routine involves an active lifestyle, these disruptions can be severe. We assessed the patient-perceived effect of treatment with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination (FSC), compared with fluticasone propionate (FP) or salmeterol (SAL) alone, on activity limitations, particularly strenuous physical activities. The Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) was administered in two 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials comparing FSC 100/50 or 250/50 microg twice daily vs. the individual components alone in 686 adults and adolescents with asthma. In one study, patients were stratified by prior treatment [low to medium doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or SAL], and in the other study, all patients were previously treated with medium to high doses of ICS. Patients prospectively identified five activities they performed regularly and were asked how these activities were limited by their asthma. The effect of randomized treatment on strenuous activities (e.g., aerobics, cycling, hiking, and basketball) was assessed. In both studies, treatment with FSC resulted in clinically meaningful improvements (i.e., change in AQLQ of > or = 0.5) and was statistically significantly better than SAL in both studies and FP in one study. Treatment of the two main components of asthma--inflammation and bronchoconstriction--with FSC results in clinically meaningful improvements in the ability of patients with persistent asthma to perform not only their usual activities but also strenuous activities.