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The Physical Activity Patterns of Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Participants

Ayabe, Makoto MS; Brubaker, Peter H. PhD, FAACVPR; Dobrosielski, Devon MS; Miller, Henry S. MD, FAACVPR; Ishi, Kojiro PhD; Yahiro, Takuya MS; Kiyonaga, Akira MD, PhD; Shindo, Munehiro MS; Tanaka, Hiroaki PhD

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation: March-April 2004 - Volume 24 - Issue 2 - p 80-86

PURPOSE: This investigation aimed to examine the physical activity patterns of cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) participants.

METHODS: The investigation enrolled 53 male and 24 female CRP participants between 46 and 88 years of age. By means of a uniaxial accelerometer (Life-Corder), the amount of physical activity (in kilocalories) and the time spent in physical activity at light (<3 metabolic equivalents [METs]), moderate (3 to 6 METs), and vigorous (>6 METs) intensity were evaluated. In addition to these variables, the MET levels for the CRP and non-CRP periods were calculated.

RESULTS: The weekly amount of physical activity energy expenditure averaged 1597 ± 846 kcal/week, and the time spent in light, moderate, and vigorous physical activity averaged, respectively, 375.5 ± 124.5 minutes, 125.2 ± 109.4 minutes, and 5.7 ± 12.8 minutes per week. These levels were significantly lower on non-CRP days than on CRP days: 177 ± 113 versus 299 ± 161 kcal/day and, respectively, 49.3 ± 19.3 versus 59.7 ± 19.8 minutes, 10.5 ± 14.6 versus 26.4 ± 20.4 minutes, and 0.4 ± 1.7 versus 1.4 ± 3.0 minutes per day.

CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the amount of physical activity was generally adequate on CRP days, but failed to reach target levels on non-CRP days. Thus CRP participants, when it is medically appropriate, should be encouraged to incorporate lifestyle physical activity, additional exercise, or both on non-CRP days to supplement their caloric expenditure from CRP exercise sessions.

This investigation evaluated the daily amount and intensity of physical activity of cardiac rehabilitation program (CRP) participants on CRP and non-CRP days. Results of this study indicate that most CR participants do not expend enough energy in moderate intensity physical activity to obtain maximal benefits, particularly on non-CRP days.

From the Laboratory of Human Performance and Fitness, Graduate School of Education, Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan (Mr Ayabe, Dr Ishi), the Department of Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Dr Brubaker, Mr Dobrosielski, Dr Miller), and the Faculty of Sports Science, Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, Japan (Mr Yahiro, Dr Kiyonaga, Mr Shindo, Dr Tanaka).

Address correspondence to: Peter H. Brubaker, PhD, FAACVPR, Department of Health and Exercise Science, Wake Forest University, Box 7628, Reynolda Station, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 (e-mail:

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.