Objective: To determine physical activity levels during phase IV cardiac rehabilitation in 31 male myocardial infarction patients (median age 62, range 53–77 years).
Methods: Patients recorded daily physical activity over 16 weeks in a diary. Diaries were analysed for total general physical activity (TGPA), leisure time physical activity (LTPA), and “active for life” exercise classes (AFL). Pre- and post-observation period (OP) subjects underwent a 10 m shuttle walking test (SWT) to determine changes in aerobic fitness. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) determined exercise intensity. Estimated gross energy expenditure (EEE) was determined by a regression equation between RPE and Vo2 (l min−1) during SWT. A total of 97% of subjects were on lipid lowering medication.
Results: There were no correlations between Vo2 (l min−1) and body mass, therefore kcal min−1 indicated activity intensity. There were no significant changes in physical activity patterns or in aerobic fitness. Estimated total LTPA (median 1376, range 128–3380 kcal week−1) was less than that recommended to improve aerobic fitness and/or slow progression of coronary artery disease. Sixteen subjects attended a median of 29 (range 1–46) AFL during LTPA; one way ANOVA showed these subjects worked at greater EEE (AFL, n = 16, 6.6 (standard deviation 1.4) v no-AFL, n = 15, 5.1 (1.8) EEE kcal min−1, p = 0.017).
Conclusion: Physical activity was stable, but patients’ EEE appeared insufficient to improve aerobic fitness or slow progression of coronary artery disease. It was suggested that the promotion of LTPA and the availability of AFL classes should be reconsidered.
- AFL, “active for life” exercise classes
- EEE, estimated gross energy expenditure
- LTPA, leisure time physical activity
- OP, observation period
- RPE, rate of perceived exertion
- SWT, shuttle walking test
- TGPA, total general physical activity
- active for life exercise classes
- energy expenditure
- myocardial infarction
- phase IV cardiac rehabilitation
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