Objectively quantified physical activity in persons with multiple sclerosis

Rachel E. Klaren, Robert W. Motl, Deirdre Dlugonski, Brian M. Sandroff, Lara A. Pilutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

185 Scopus citations


Objectives To investigate levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in a large sample of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls using accelerometry as a measure of physical activity, and to compare the rates of meeting public health guidelines for MVPA (ie, 30min/d) between persons with MS and controls. Design Secondary analysis of a combined data set of persons with MS and healthy controls from 13 previous investigations of physical activity over a 8-year period (2005-2013). Setting University. Participants Participants with MS (n=800) were recruited primarily within Illinois through multiple sources, including print and e-mail flyers and an online advertisement on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Healthy controls (n=137) were recruited via public e-mail postings delivered across the university community. Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Levels of MVPA and meeting public health guidelines for MVPA between persons with MS and controls. Results After controlling for covariates (ie, age, sex, education, race, income), there was a moderate (d=.68) and statistically significant (F=47.2, P<.001) difference of 13.1 minutes of MVPA per day (95% confidence interval, 9.4-16.8) between MS and controls. There was a difference in the rates of meeting public health guidelines for MVPA (χ2=50.7, P<.001) between MS patients (20%) and controls (47%). Among those with MS, minutes of MVPA significantly differed as a function of education, employment status, clinical course, disease duration, and disability status. Conclusions We provide data using an objective physical activity measure and a large sample to indicate that only a small proportion of persons with MS are achieving adequate amounts of daily MVPA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2342-2348
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Accelerometry
  • Motor activity
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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