Effect of 8 wk of bicycle training on the immune system of patients with rheumatoid arthritis

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1993 Oct;75(4):1691-5. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1993.75.4.1691.


The effect of 8 wk of progressive bicycle training on the immune system was evaluated in a controlled study on 18 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and moderate disease activity. Maximal O2 uptake increased significantly, whereas heart rate at stage 2 and rate of perceived exertion decreased significantly, in the training group compared with the controls. Resting levels of a number of immune parameters were measured before and after 4 and 8 wk of training. Training did not induce changes in blood mononuclear cell subpopulations, proliferative response, or natural killer cell activity. Furthermore the plasma concentrations of interleukin-1 alpha, interleukin-1 beta, and interleukin-6 did not change in response to training. It is concluded that 8 wk of bicycle training does not influence the immune system of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Bicycling*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Phytohemagglutinins / pharmacology


  • Interleukins
  • Phytohemagglutinins
  • C-Reactive Protein