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Cardiorespiratory fitness among adults with fibromyalgia.

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This review presents and addresses the conflicting results on cardiorespiratory fitness among adults with fibromyalgia.

The heterogeneity in study designs, symptom severity and the assessment protocols might partly explain these conflicting results. It also presents the possible relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness and exercise prescription, attrition from exercise/rehabilitation programmes and independence with activities of daily living.

Cardiorespiratory fitness might impact aerobic exercise and independence in daily activities of patients with fibromyalgia, which is often concomitantly diagnosed in patients with sleep disordered breathing, including patients with obstructive sleep apnoea. Therefore, cardiorespiratory fitness evaluation should be considered by general and respiratory physicians as well as physiotherapists who treat patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia for more accurate diagnosis, exercise prescription and monitoring of patients’ status.


Adults with fibromyalgia often present with reduced cardiorespiratory fitness. Reduced cardiorespiratory fitness might have an important impact on functional capacity and quality of life.

Adults with fibromyalgia with fibromyalgia who have a secondary condition affecting their ventilatory anaerobic threshold and/or VO2peak, for example chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, might present with a greater reduction of their cardiorespiratory fitness which may not be entirely related to their lung disease.


To better understand the cardiorespiratory fitness results among adults with fibromyalgia in general, and when taking into account differences in assessment protocol (maximal versus submaximal testing protocol; cycle ergometer versus treadmill testing protocol) and symptom severity (fibromyalgia severity level).

To better understand how cardiorespiratory fitness among adults with fibromyalgia could: 1) assist in exercise prescription; 2) minimize dropout rates from exercise/rehabilitation programmes; and 3) promote independence with activities of daily living.

To learn why fibromyalgia might be important to consider in adults who have concurrent fibromyalgia and lung disease.

Full text available here.

Source:  Gaudreault N, Boulay P. Cardiorespiratory fitness among adults with fibromyalgia. Breathe (Sheff). 2018 Jun;14(2):e25-e33. doi: 10.1183/20734735.019717.

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