PURPOSE: Recent studies have suggested that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) spend less time walking and doing upright activities than age-matched control subjects. To evaluate this further, we set out to evaluate the amount of time COPD patients spent in relatively higher levels of activity.
METHODS: Tri-axial accelerometers were used to directly measure daily activity over seven consecutive days in outpatients with stable COPD. Motion data in three planes were summed for each recording minute as vector magnitude units (VMU) by the tri-axial accelerometer. Only data and times when the activity monitors were worn were evaluated. Each patient also had a six minute walk determination; the mean VMU from this six minute walk was used to define each patient's threshold for higher-level activity.
RESULTS: Twenty patients (9 male) were evaluated. The mean age was 69 ± 9 years, and the FEV1 was 52% ± 17% percent of predicted. Patients wore the device for a mean 5126 ± 1300 minutes. VMU for the group were 181 ± 81 (range 84 - 370) counts per minute worn. VMU surpassed the threshold for the higher level of activity (defined above) for 3.80 ± 4.41 % (median = 2.33, range 0.12–19.54) of the time worn.
CONCLUSION: Patients with stable COPD spend relatively little time at levels of physical activity equal to or greater than observed during their six minute walk test.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Activity promotion should be considered in patients with stable COPD.
DISCLOSURE: Sodienye Tetenta, None.