ClinicSpeak & BrainHealth: how active is active?

Are you an activant or a sedant? #ClinicSpeak #MSBlog #MSResearch

"I got very frustrated this morning. I woke in Vancouver at 3.30 am and wanted to go the gym to exercise, only to find that my budget hotel does not have a gym on the premises and that I would need to wait for the commercial gym around the corner to open to excercise. I tend to take being active for granted, which includes having access to a gym in congress hotels. I must admit I am on a tight budget and this hotel is short on luxuries. The point I am making is that I have to do extra activities beyond what I do in a typical day to make sure I achieve a target of physical activity. It is clear that for a the majority of MSers this is a problem. One way of getting some insight into how active you are is to measure your activity. There are a large number of relatively inexpensive devices, or accelerometers, available to measure how active or sedentary you are. The study below shows that accelerometers are relatively accurate and that by wearing them for a period of 3-7 days will give you an idea of your activity levels. It will tell you if you are an activant or a sedant."

"About two years ago I tested the Jawbone and FitBit accelerometers and found them quite motivating for increasing my activity. Sadly, both the devices failed and I got back into my old habits. We showed several years ago that activity measured using a wrist and ankle accelerometers were very accurate at assessing upper and lower limb disability. The question is whether or not you want to track your physical functioning using these devices. It may be great to show in early relapsing MS that your physical activity is stable or increasing and hence are doing well. On the other hand you may find it quite depressing to see your activity falling off with progression of your disease. The good thing about  the new generation of smart accelerometers is they are connected to the cloud and allow you to be social and compare your data and activity with other people. This sharing helps motivate people to try harder and may stimulate a bit of competition. We propose using Fitbit devices to take on the Australians in our Brain Health challenge. I would be interested to know if any of you are using these devices and how they have affected your day-to-day functioning?"

Klaren et al. Reliability of Accelerometer Scores for Measuring Sedentary and Physical Activity Behaviors in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis. Adapt Phys Activ Q. 2016 Apr;33(2):195-204. d

This brief research note examined the reliability of scores from an accelerometer as measures of sedentary and physical activity behaviors in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). The analysis was performed on a combined data set from 2 previous longitudinal investigations of physical activity in MS. We focused on the number of days required to reliably estimate sedentary behavior, based on time spent in sedentary behavior per day and number of sedentary breaks, number of long sedentary bouts, and average length of sedentary bouts per day. We further examined the number of days required to reliably estimate physical activity behavior, based on time spent in light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and average length of activity bouts per day. Between 4-6 days of monitoring and 3-7 days of monitoring were necessary for good reliability of scores from all sedentary outcomes and physical activity outcomes, respectively. These results should guide research and practice examining sedentary and physical activity behaviors using accelerometry in persons with MS.

Labels: , , , , , ,