Physical activity of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: implications for pulmonary rehabilitation

J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev. Sep-Oct 2008;28(5):330-4. doi: 10.1097/01.HCR.0000336145.79192.17.


Purpose: This study ascertained the extent to which Japanese patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were involved in various modes of physical activity in daily life and factors affecting their physical activity levels.

Methods: Information on physical activity, demographics, and lifestyle characteristics was obtained by face-to-face interviews with 257 eligible patients (227 men and 30 women) recruited from 6 hospitals in central Japan.

Results: Overall, 77% of patients participated in weekly physical activities, but only 25% engaged in moderate or vigorous activities. The mean metabolic equivalent tasks devoted to all physical activities were 1807 (SD = 3124) minutes per week for men and 1656 (SD = 3931) minutes per week for women. Stepwise regression analyses found that disease severity and perceived lifelong physical activity involvement were significant factors related to total physical activity, whereas age, COPD severity, and current smoking were negatively associated with walking.

Conclusions: Patients with COPD had lower physical activity levels than the general elderly population. They should be encouraged to increase their participation in exercise activities.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Equivalent
  • Motor Activity*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / rehabilitation*