To compare the profiles of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) considered physically active or inactive according to different classifications of the level of physical activity in daily life (PADL).
Pulmonary function, dyspnea, functional status, body composition, exercise capacity, respiratory and peripheral muscle strength, and presence of comorbidities were assessed in 104 patients with COPD. The level of PADL was quantified with a SenseWear Armband activity monitor. Three classifications were used to classify the patients as physically active or inactive: 30 minutes of activity/day with intensity >3.2 METs, if age ≥65 years, and >4 METs, if age <65 years; 30 minutes of activity/day with intensity >3.0 METs, regardless of patient age; and 80 minutes of activity/day with intensity >3.0 METs, regardless of patient age.
In all classifications, when compared with the inactive group, the physically active group had better values of anthropometric variables (higher fat-free mass, lower body weight, body mass index and fat percentage), exercise capacity (6-minute walking distance), lung function (forced vital capacity) and functional status (personal care domain of the London Chest Activity of Daily Living). Furthermore, patients classified as physically active in two classifications also had better peripheral and expiratory muscle strength, airflow obstruction, functional status, and quality of life, as well as lower prevalence of heart disease and mortality risk.
In all classification methods, physically active patients with COPD have better exercise capacity, lung function, body composition, and functional status compared to physically inactive patients.