Exercise for multiple sclerosis: a single-blind randomized trial comparing three exercise intensities

J Collett, H Dawes, A Meaney, Catherine Sackley, K Barker, D Wade, H Izardi, J Bateman, Joan Duda, E Buckingham

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Background: The most effective exercise dose has yet to be established for multiple sclerosis (MS). Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different exercise intensities in people with MS. Methods: We completed a randomized comparator study of three cycling exercise intensities, with blinded assessment, was carried out in Oxford. Sixty-one adults with MS who fulfilled inclusion criteria were randomized at entry into the study, using a computer-generated list held by an exercise professional, into either: continuous (at 45% peak power, n=20), intermittent (30 sec on, 30 sec off at 90% peak power, n=21) or combined (10 min intermittent at 90% peak power then 10 min continuous at 45% peak power, n=20) exercise for 20 min twice a week for 12 weeks in a leisure facility. Groups were assessed at: baseline, halfway (6 weeks), end intervention (12 weeks) and follow-up (24 weeks). Primary outcome measure was 2 min walk. Results: Fifty-five participants were included in the analysis (n= continuous 20, intermittent 18, combined 17). No differences were found between groups. After 6 weeks, considering all participants, 2 min walk distance increased by 6.96 +/- 2.56m (95% CI: 1.81 to 12.10, effect size (es): 0.25, p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-603
Number of pages10
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


  • randomized trial
  • exercise
  • multiple sclerosis
  • mobility
  • dose
  • rehabilitation


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