HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL WALKING AND IMPACT ON DYSPNEA IN PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE - A randomized crossover study
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Background: Patients with COPD experience discomfort performing exercise training. Increased knowledge about patient’s respond to different types of high intensity interval walking is useful when customizing exercise programs in order to reduce discomfort, improve compliance and long term adherence. Objective: To compare the effect of interval walking with short and long high intensity periods on dyspnea and leg fatigue in patients with COPD, and to investigate how the dyspnea is affected by disease severity. Material and methods: A randomized crossover study was conducted during pulmonary rehabilitation. Patients with COPD (n=39) performed two walking interval sessions, one with 1 min intervals and one with 3 min intervals. Subjective perception of dyspnea and leg fatigue was determined using Borg ten point category ratio scale (0=no and 10=extremely severe). Results: Analyses showed a significant difference between 1 min interval walking (5.06±1.87) and 3 min interval walking (6.14±2.06) on dyspnea in favor of the short intervals (p=<0.001). Patients with mild to moderate COPD report the greatest reduction in dyspnea when performing short- over long intervals (4.22±1.79 versus 5.93±2.19 respectively, p=<0.001). Short interval walking reduced leg fatigue significantly compared with long interval walking (2.83±1.72 versus 3.58±2.09 respectively, p=<0.001). Conclusions: Short interval walking is better tolerated by patients with COPD, due to a reduction in dyspnea and leg fatigue.