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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Jul;35(7):1088-92.

Physical activity and perception of energy and fatigue in obstructive sleep apnea.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, CA 92103-0804, USA.



This study was designed to examine the relationship between apnea severity, physical activity level, and psychological well being in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).


Participants' sleep, subjective report of psychological well-being, and physical activity level were assessed. Thirty-eight patients with sleep apnea (mean age 49.0 +/- 8.9 yr; mean body mass index (BMI) 30.1 +/- 4.9 (kg x m-2) with respiratory disturbance index [RDI] >or= 10 were admitted to the study. Sleep architecture, subjective well-being, and self-reported habitual physical activity were measured.


Sleep apnea severity (determined by RDI) was unrelated to subjective self-report of well-being. On the other hand, regular physical activity was significantly correlated with higher SF-36 vitality (r(s) = 0.54), higher Profile of Mood States vigor (r(s) = 0.41), and less fatigue (r(s) = -0.46). The association between physical activity and subjective well being remained significant even after controlling for RDI or BMI. In this group of subjects with sleep apnea, physical activity level was better than sleep apnea severity (i.e., RDI) in predicting perceptions of energy and fatigue.


The clinical significance of promoting regular physical activity or exercise training as an adjuvant treatment for OSA needs to be further investigated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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