Habitual and Low-Intensity Physical Activity in People with Multiple Sclerosis
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People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) undertake insufficient physical activity based on current guidelines. Recent work points to the benefits of increasing the amount of time spent in all non-sedentary physical activity. The current study sought to explore the potential benefits to community participation, as well as examine factors predictive, of engagement in ‘habitual’ and/or low-intensity physical activity. Seventy-four people with MS were compared to 67 healthy controls using the Frenchay Activities Index (FAI). Findings revealed differences in habitual activity level (p < .001), and low-intensity physical activity (p < .001), with people with MS having a lower level of engagement than healthy people. After controlling for the impact of MS on mobility, years since symptom onset, physical fatigue and reduced positive affect were the most significant predictors of engagement in ‘at least weekly’ low-intensity physical activity. Higher frequency of low-intensity physical activity was significantly associated with greater home, social and occupational participation (all p < .05), and physical health status (p < .01), but not mental health status (p = .964) in people with MS. Results suggest that improving habitual activity level and engagement in low-intensity physical activity may be of benefit for people with MS.
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified