Investigating activity in hospitalized patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a pilot study

Heart Lung. 2010 Jul-Aug;39(4):319-30. doi: 10.1016/j.hrtlng.2009.09.004. Epub 2010 Apr 8.


Objective: This study examined therapeutic mobility activity, and investigated whether serum levels of inflammatory biomarkers interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-10 varied between periods of rest and activity.

Methods: This observational, exploratory study took place in a medical intensive care unit and in stepdown units at an urban, academic medical center managed by intensivists. Our sample included 17 adults with exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Results: Our results indicate that activity can occur for about 20 minutes, early during a hospitalization, among critically ill adults with COPD exacerbations, and activity can progress safely over 2 days in an intensive-care or stepdown setting. Physical activity was low in intensity, as measured by actigraphy.

Conclusion: Although no significant differences were evident between serum inflammatory biomarkers at rest vs after activity in this small sample, trend-related data indicate that low-intensity activity has the potential to alter the inflammatory profile of hospitalized COPD adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Critical Illness
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / blood*
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ohio
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / blood
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / nursing
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / pathology*
  • Rest
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors


  • Interleukin-6
  • Interleukin-10