Objective. To assess physical fitness and physical activity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and whether fatigue is associated with impaired physical fitness and impaired physical activity. Materials and methods. Ten patients with quiescent IBD and fatigue (fatigue group [FG]) based on the Checklist Individual Strength-Fatigue score of ≥35 were matched for age (±5 years) and sex with a non-fatigue group (NFG) with IBD. Physical fitness was measured with a cyclo-ergometric-based maximal exercise test, a submaximal 6-min walk test, and a dynamometer test to quantify the isokinetic muscle strength of the knee extensors and flexors. Level of physical activity was measured with an accelerometer-based activity monitor. Results. The patients in both groups did not differ in regard to medication use, clinical characteristics, and body composition. However, medium-to-large effect sizes for impaired physical fitness (both cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength) and physical activity were seen between the patients in the FG and the NFG. Especially, intensity of physical activity was significantly lower in the FG patients compared with the NFG patients (effect size: 1.02; p = 0.037). Similar results were seen when outcomes of the FG and NFG were compared with reference values of the normal population. Conclusion. Fatigued IBD patients show an impaired physical fitness and physical activity compared with non-fatigued IBD patients. This gives directions for a physical component in fatigue in IBD patients. Therefore, these new insights into fatigue indicate that these patients might benefit from an exercise program to improve physical fitness and physical activity.

Fatigue, Inflammatory bowel disease, Physical activity, Physical fitness
dx.doi.org/10.3109/00365521.2015.1046135, hdl.handle.net/1765/87378
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

Vogelaar, L, van den Berg-Emons, H.J.G, Bussmann, J.B.J, Rozenberg, R, Timman, R, & van der Woude, C.J. (2015). Physical fitness and physical activity in fatigued and non-fatigued inflammatory bowel disease patients. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology, 50(11), 1357–1367. doi:10.3109/00365521.2015.1046135