European Respiratory Monograph vol:69 pages:224-240
Promotion of a physically active lifestyle is recommended for all patients with COPD, based on a large evidence base on health benefits of being physically active. Available physical activity recommendations differ considerably from each other. It has been demonstrated that these differences have a significant impact on the classification of patients with COPD into categories of being sufficiently physically active or not. Functional capacity and functional reserve become increasingly limited with progressing disease severity. This will make it difficult for many patients to achieve recommendations based on time in physical activity of at least moderate intensity. Preventing sedentary time might be a relevant and more realistic treatment goal in these patients. Objective measures are available to measure physical activity and their characteristics make these tools suitable for use in clinical practice. Treatment approaches to modify physical activity have gained popularity in recent years. Self-monitoring of daily activities and goal setting with feedback of a pedometer are common elements in these interventions, which have the potential to improve health in patients with COPD.