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People with MS Less Active Than Healthy Controls

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub 2017 Feb 1; Kinnett-Hopkins, et al

Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) are less physically active than non-diseased, but not clinical populations, and this observation supports the need for new efforts on promoting physical activity across the MS community, according to a recent meta-analysis. Researchers examined academic studies using the keywords “physical activity,” “exercise,” and “physical fitness” in conjunction with MS. 21 studies were included involving 5,303 persons with MS and yielded a mean effect size (ES) of −0.57. They found:

  • Activity levels of persons with MS have been fairly constant over the past decade.
  • Persons with MS are less active than non-diseased populations.
  • Clinical and MS populations participate in similar levels of physical activity.
  • The magnitude of the mean ES increased when comparing the MS population with non-diseased populations, but decreased when comparing MS with clinical populations.


Kinnett-Hopkins D, Adamson B, Rougeau K, Motl RW. People with MS are less physically active than healthy controls but as active as those with other chronic diseases: An updated meta-analysis. [Published online ahead of print February 1, 2017]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2017.01.016.