Arm Activity During Daily Life in Individuals With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To determine whether individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have decreased arm activity during daily life compared with healthy controls and explore the relationships between arm activity during daily life and arm functional measures in individuals with COPD. METHODS: This was a prospective cross-sectional study that included 30 people with COPD and 14 healthy controls. Subjects attended a single assessment session in which measurements of arm exercise capacity, arm functional performance, self-perception of performance during activities of daily living (ADL), shoulder and elbow flexion force and biceps and triceps thickness were performed. On completion of this session, participants were issued a wrist actigraph and asked to wear the device on the dominant arm for 24 hours for 7 consecutive days. RESULTS: Compared with healthy controls, patients with COPD presented decreased total activity level in daily life (P = .001). When corrected for walking, the level of arm activity did not differ between individuals with COPD and healthy controls (P = .62). No correlations were found between arm activity and arm exercise capacity, arm functional performance, upper limb muscle strength, and self-perception of performance during ADL (r =-0.20 to 0.14; all P ≥ .10). CONCLUSIONS: Arm activity intensity in individuals with COPD did not differ from that of healthy controls when measured by a wrist actigraph. Moreover, arm activity was not associated with other clinical outcomes of arm function. Disability during ADL is multifactorial, and only limited inferences of function can be made from accelerometer data.


  • Janaudis-Ferreira, Tania
  • Mathur, Sunita
  • Romano, Julia Marie
  • Goldstein, Roger Samuel
  • Brooks, Dina

publication date

  • March 2016

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