Skip to main content

Table 1 Trials on interval exercise in patients with COPD

From: Interval exercise versus continuous exercise in patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – study protocol for a randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN11611768]

  Population Exercise protocols and rehabilitation program Main results
Coppoolse 1999 [10] 21 stable male COPD patients (mean age 65 years, FEV1 36.8% predicted) Group 1: CT ergometer cycling at 60% of Wmax
Group 2: IT ergometer cycling at 90% of Wmax (1 min) and 45% of Wmax (2 min) 3 days/week plus CT ergometer cycling at 60% of Wmax 2 days/week
8 weeks inpatient rehabilitation with 5 exercise sessions per week of 30 min. No additional physical exercise.
Significant increase of VO2 and decrease of minute ventilation with CT but no changes with IT.
Significant increase of Wmax and decrease of leg pain during exercise with IT but not with CT.
Only significant differences between CT and IT for VO2/Wmax favouring CT. 91% of patients with CT and 90% of patients with IT completed the exercise program.
Vogiatzis 2002 [11] 45 stable COPD patients (62% males, (mean age 65 years, FEV1 34.1% predicted) Group 1: CT ergometer cycling at 50% of Wmax weeks 1–4, at 60% weeks 5–8 and at 70% weeks 9–12
Group 2: IT ergometer cycling at 100% of Wmax (30 sec) and 45% of Wmax (30 sec) weeks 1–4, at 120% weeks 5–8 and at 140% weeks 9–12
12 weeks outpatient rehabilitation with 2 exercise sessions per week of 40 min. No additional physical exercise.
Significant improvements of CRQ scores and Wmax and reductions of minute ventilation during CWRT in both groups. No significant differences between groups.
Attendance rate for exercise sessions 88% for CT and 90% for IT.
Kaelin 2001 [12] 19 stable COPD patients (89% males) (mean age 67 years, FEV1 26.9% predicted) Group 1: CT walking on stepper (70 steps/minute) or treadmill (1.5 miles/hour). Increase of 1 MET every 2 weeks
Group 2: IT walking on stepper (70 steps/minute) or treadmill (1.5 miles/hour) with active rest to ratio of 2:1. Increase of 1 MET every 2 weeks
6 weeks outpatient rehabilitation with 3 exercise sessions per week of 10–30 min. Additional resistance training and flexibility training.
Larger improvements of 6-minute walking distance with IT (80 meters) compared with CT (39 meters).
No data on compliance.
  1. CT = Continuous training; IT = Interval training; CRQ = Chronic Respiratory Questionnaire Wmax = Maximum exercise capacity, measured by usual incremental exercise test; CWRT = Constant work rate test; VO2 = Maximum oxygen consumption MET = Metabolic equivalent