Exercise and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020:1228:355-368. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_24.


Systemic effects of COPD lead to cardiovascular co-morbidities, muscle wasting and osteoporosis that, in turn, lead to inactivity and physical deconditioning. This evolution has a direct influence on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients suffering from this respiratory disease. Pharmacological therapy leads to improvement in shortness of breath, but it has a limited effect on the physical deconditioning. Pulmonary rehabilitation relieves dyspnoea and fatigue, improves emotional function and enhances the sense of control that individuals have over their condition. These improvements are moderately substantial and clinically significant. Rehabilitation serves as an essential component of the management of COPD and is beneficial in improving health-related quality of life and exercise capacity.

Keywords: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD; Neuromuscular electrical stimulation, NMES; Pulmonary rehabilitation, PR; Training; Whole-body vibration training.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Dyspnea / therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive* / therapy
  • Quality of Life