Association of 24-hour activity levels with the clinical severity of chronic venous disease

J Vasc Surg. 2006 Sep;44(3):580-587. doi: 10.1016/j.jvs.2006.05.047.


Introduction: The pathophysiology underlying the skin changes seen in chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is multifactorial. Sedentary lifestyle and prolonged sitting and standing at work have been proposed by some authors to be influential in the development of CVI skin changes. This study compared the 24-hour activity profiles in patients with different clinical severities of CVI and normal controls.

Methods: Patients were classified into groups according to CEAP clinical severity classes: mild (C2&C3), moderate (C4) and severe (C5&C6). Activity profiles were measured in 60 patients and 15 controls using a Newcastle Universities Medical Activity (NUMACT) monitor, which recorded the duration spent in supine, sitting, and standing postures as well as duration spent walking and the walking intensity over a 24-hour period. Analysis was performed by Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests and Spearman correlation.

Results: Walking intensity was significantly different between the controls and patient groups during prolonged walking (P < .001). The controls spent significantly more time standing in a 24-hour period than any of the CVI clinical groups (P = .036), and the percentage time spent sitting was significantly higher in the patient groups (P = .025). No significant differences were found in the total number of steps taken or total duration spent walking in the 24-hour period between any of the groups.

Conclusion: This study shows that walking intensity is lower in the more severe clinical groups and may be influenced by the clinical severity of CVI. The study provides evidence that prolonged sitting and reduced standing is associated with increased severity of CVI, which may by an effect of the patient's symptoms rather than a cause of disease progression.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Ferrous Compounds
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Motor Activity* / physiology
  • Posture
  • Risk Factors
  • Venous Insufficiency / epidemiology*
  • Venous Insufficiency / physiopathology


  • Ferrous Compounds
  • ferrous sulfate