Physical activity before & after exercise in women with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

We measured physical activity after strenuous exercise in 20

women with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), compared to 20

sedentary healthy volunteers who exercised no more than once

per week. Activity was measured for 2 weeks using a portable

waist-worn vertical accelerometer. After the first week of

activity monitoring, all participants returned for a maximal

treadmill test, followed by continued activity monitoring for

the second week. Five activity measures were derived from the

data: (i) average activity; (ii) total activity; (iii)

duration of waking day; (iv) duration; and (v) number of daily

rests. A repeated measures ANCOVA was used to determine post-

treadmill group differences accounting for pre-treadmill

differences. There was a significant reduction in overall

average activity after the treadmill test, with the greatest

decrease on days 12 through 14. This reduction was accompanied

by a significant increase in the duration of the waking day

and number of daily rests. Thus, marked exertion does produce

changes in activity, but later than self-report would suggest,

and are apparently not so severe that CFS patients cannot


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