Volume and Patterns of Physical Activity Across the Health and Heart Failure Continuum

Can J Cardiol. 2017 Nov;33(11):1465-1471. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2017.07.005. Epub 2017 Jul 18.


Background: The benefits of regular physical activity (PA) are well documented in patients with heart failure (HF), however the amount and intensity of objectively measured PA and sedentary behaviour in HF with preserved (HFPEF) or reduced ejection fraction (HFREF) is not well known.

Methods: In a cross-sectional observational study the energy expenditure of 151 participants (HFPEF: n = 53; HFREF: n = 16; at-risk for HF: n = 48; control participants: n = 34) using SenseWear Mini Armbands (Body Media, Inc, Pittsburgh, PA) were monitored. PA outcomes included time spent in different PA intensities (light and moderate-vigorous PA), sedentary time, steps per day, total daily energy expenditure, PA energy expenditure, and the patterns of PA in bouts of ≥ 10 minutes of moderate-vigorous PA.

Results: The patients with HFPEF had the lowest volume of activity across the 4 groups. After adjusting for covariates, only steps per day remained significantly different across groups (P = 0.0005). A comparison of HFPEF vs HFREF indicated a higher amount of time in bouts of ≥ 10 minutes of moderate-vigorous PA for patients with HFREF (median, 2.4 [interquartile range, 0-13.5] vs 26 [3.7-46.8]; P = 0.0075). In the at-risk group, PA was lower than the recommended levels in the guidelines.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest step count as the most robust outcome in evaluating daily PA in this population. Also, patients with HFPEF showed to be the least active group in the HF continuum. Monitoring volume and pattern of PA for those at risk of HF and patients with HFPEF could help to identify sedentary individuals and to develop tailored behavioural interventions for them.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heart Failure / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*