Research Mentor(s): Janet Larson, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Health Behavior and Biological Sciences, School of Nursing
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 12
COPD is a chronic lung-based disease that blocks airflow making it harder to breathe. Studies have also shown that muscle strength in people with COPD is lower than that of age-matched individuals without COPD. The decrease in muscle strength can impede individuals from partaking in physical activity (PA) which has been associated with a slower decline in lung function and reduced hospitalization in people with COPD. Traditional interventions for COPD have focused on moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) but the Active For Life: COPD intervention program designed by Dr. Larson is novel in its emphasis on light physical activity (LPA) and decreased sedentary time. Participants were recruited and sorted into control or experimental groups, followed by 10 weeks of training classes for both groups. The experimental group did functional circuit training and learned self-regulation strategies. The control group did chair exercises and guided imagery for relaxation and health education. Both groups came back at 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months to have various measures of strength, endurance, and physical activity tested. A study was undertaken to see the impact of this intervention on isometric strength measures through knee flexors and extensors. Due to the study being ongoing and having a partially blind setup in order to minimize bias, blinded group interim analysis will be analyzed. If this intervention is successful, in increasing physical activity and muscle strength it could change general physical activity guidelines for people with COPD shifting away from MVPA and towards LPA.