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01.04.2010 | Research article | Ausgabe 2/2010 Open Access

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2/2010

Effects of lifestyle physical activity on perceived symptoms and physical function in adults with fibromyalgia: results of a randomized trial

Arthritis Research & Therapy > Ausgabe 2/2010
Kevin R Fontaine, Lora Conn, Daniel J Clauw
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​ar2967) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

Kevin R. Fontaine and Lora Conn declare that they have no competing interests. Daniel J. Clauw has acted as a consultant for Pfizer, Lilly, Forest Laboratories, Cypress Biosciences, Pierre Fabre, UCB, and Wyeth, and has received grant support from Pfizer, Cypress Bioscience, and Forest.

Authors' contributions

KF conceived of the study, acquired the funding, participated in the design of the study, the delivery of the intervention, performed the statistical analysis, and drafted the manuscript. LC carried out the recruitment, enrollment, and data collection. DC participated in designing the study and assisted with the drafting of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Although exercise is therapeutic for adults with fibromyalgia (FM), its symptoms often create obstacles that discourage exercise. We evaluated the effects of accumulating at least 30 minutes of self-selected lifestyle physical activity (LPA) on perceived physical function, pain, fatigue, body mass index, depression, tenderness, and the six-minute walk test in adults with FM.


Eighty-four minimally active adults with FM were randomized to either LPA or a FM education control (FME) group. LPA participants worked toward accumulating 30 minutes of self-selected moderate-intensity LPA, five to seven days per week, while the FME participants received information and support.


Seventy-three of the 84 participants (87%) completed the 12-week trial. The LPA group increased their average daily steps by 54%. Compared to FME, the LPA group reported significantly less perceived functional deficits (P = .032) and less pain (P = .006). There were no differences between the groups on the six-minute walk test (P = .067), fatigue, depression, body mass index, or tenderness.


Accumulating 30 minutes of LPA throughout the day produces clinically relevant changes in perceived physical function and pain in previously minimally active adults with FM.

Trial Registration NCT00383084
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