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Digestion. 2015;91(3):239-47. doi: 10.1159/000371795. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

The impact of a ten-week physical exercise program on health-related quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a prospective randomized controlled trial.

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II. Medizinische Klinik, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technischen Universität München, München, Germany.



Improving health-related quality of life is a primary target of therapy for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Physical activity has been demonstrated to improve health-related quality of life in several patient populations with chronic disease. There are very few studies investigating the effects of physical activity on health-related quality of life in inflammatory bowel disease. The primary purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of 10 weeks of moderate physical activity on health-related quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.


Thirty patients with mild to moderate IBD (Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) <220 or Rachmilewitz Index (RI) <11) were randomized 1:1 to either supervised moderate-intensity running thrice a week for 10 weeks or a control group who were not prescribed any exercise. Health-related quality of life, symptoms, and inflammation were assessed at baseline and after 10 weeks.


Participants were 41 ± 14 years (73% female), had a body mass index of 22.8 ± 4.1 kg/m(2), and an average CDAI or RI of 66.8 ± 42.4 and 3.6 ± 3.1. No adverse events occurred during the 10-week training period. Health-related quality of life, reported as IBDQ total score, improved 19% in the intervention group and 8% in the control group. Scores for the IBDQ social sub-scale were significantly improved in the intervention group compared with controls (ΔIBDQsocial = 6.27 ± 5.46 vs. 1.87 ± 4.76, p = 0.023).


Patients suffering from moderately active IBD are capable of performing symptom-free regular endurance exercise. Our data support the assumption that PA is feasible in IBD patients. PA may furthermore improve quality of life through improvements in social well-being, and may, therefore, be a useful adjunct to IBD therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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