Research: Measuring Activity

Sandroff et al. Accelerometer output and its association with energy expenditure in persons with multiple sclerosis. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012 49:467-76.

Background: Limited data support the strong association between rates of accelerometer activity counts and energy expenditure during dynamic activity MSers. 

Aims: This study examined the association between rates of activity counts and energy expenditure during walking by using two models of accelerometers and generated cut-points representing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in MSers. 

Methods: Participants were 43 MSers and 43 controls who undertook 5 min of seated rest and up to five 6 min periods of walking at five different speeds on a treadmill. While walking, participants wore two models of accelerometers and a mouthpiece in-line with an open-circuit spirometry system for measuring energy expenditure (rate of oxygen consumption). Strong linear associations were found between accelerometer activity counts and energy expenditure, and the magnitude did not differ between MSers and controls for both accelerometer models. The mean slopes of the linear relationships were steeper in MSers than controls and resulted in distinct cut-points for MVPA based on accelerometer counts for MSers and controls. 

Conclusion: The strong linear relationship between activity counts and energy expenditure and cut-points for quantifying time spent in MVPA should allow for better understanding of physical activity and examination of its predictors and consequences when using accelerometers in MS.

"This is good news; MSers behave in the same way as normal subjects when it comes to energy expenditure from exercise or physical activity. This is not surprising as there is no evidence that MSers peripheral energy usage and requirements are different to normals. However, I would expect different results for cognitive activities; it is clear that MSers use up more energy than controls for a given cognitive task."

"One issue that was not addressed in this study is the ability of MSers to perform physical activity. A lot of MSers suffer from fatigue and their physical impairments and disabilities prevent them from performing physical activity. This in my opinion is the biggest problem that MSers face."

"Deconditioning, the medical word for being unfit, is also a problem. It is a bit of a vicious cycle. If you are unable to exercise you get unfit, the more unfit you are the harder it is to exercise and the less exercise you do, the less exercise you do the more unfit you get. This is a downward spiral. This is why we try an encourage all MSers to try and exercise regularly. Exercise has many advantages  that go beyond physical fitness; exercise improves your mental health and well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals that make you feel good, in the brain that are mood elevating. Exercise improves sleep, which helps with reducing day-time fatigue, Exercise increases your strength and reduces your weight making it easier to do physical chores."

"Do you exercise?"

Other posts of interest:

07 Jun 2012
Purpose: The evidence base to support therapeutic exercise for MSers is improving; however few studies have considered the MSers' perspective. This study aimed to explore the experiences and views of people moderately ...

15 Jun 2012
Objective: Our aim was to evaluate the effects of a Nintendo Wii FitĀ® balance exercise programme on balance function and walking ability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: A multi-centre, randomised, controlled ...

01 Jun 2012
RESULTS: Findings are based on 21 patients (10 from exercise and 11 controls) who had data available on outcomes. There was no significant difference between the two groups at the baseline. MSers in the aquatic exercise ...

30 Jun 2012
I agree with Anon - the importance of diet, exercise/physio perhaps vitD/sun and care in mind and body ie exercise everything - should be a crucial part of any holistic approach and it is probably the neuro who should try to ...

11 Apr 2011
The effect of exercise therapy on fatigue in multiple sclerosis. Exercise therapy may have a positive effect on MS-related fatigue, however, the findings of a systematic review show the impact of exercise can be highly variable.