Content Map Terms
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by shortness of breath, fatigue, decreased day-to-day function, and increased use of healthcare resources.
Most people with COPD are as much as 50% less active than healthy peers and do not meet current Canadian physical activity guidelines. Physical activity and exercise together with medications can improve COPD symptoms, exercise capacity and quality of life and decrease associated co-morbidities.
Current guidelines recommend the following:
- Light- to moderate-intensity exercise on 3 to 5 days per week in increasingly longer bouts.
- Vigorous-intensity physical activity can be recommended if tolerated.
Sustained physical inactivity is associated with progression of exercise intolerance, worsening lung function and muscle wasting.
Canadian Pulmonary Rehab Program (McGill University Health Centre, Canada)
This toolkit has been developed to help healthcare professionals establish pulmonary rehabilitation programs in metropolitan, regional and rural settings throughout Canada. It would be helpful to anyone setting up or running a pulmonary rehab program.
Pulmonary rehab toolkit (Lung Foundation Australia and Australian Physiotherapy Association, Australia)
This toolkit has been developed to help healthcare professionals establish pulmonary rehabilitation programs in metropolitan, regional and rural settings throughout Australia. It would be helpful to anyone setting up or running a pulmonary rehab program.
Physical activity in the treatment of long term conditions (British Medical Journal, United Kingdom)
This online course covers exercise prescription for many chronic conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It helps to understand why physical activity is an important part of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease management and how to help your clients get started with exercise. This course is free but does require you to register to obtain access.
Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of disease (Swedish National Institute of Public Health, Sweden)
This resource has comprehensive information about exercise prescription for clients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in chapter 20 and clients with asthma in chapter 17.
Last updated: November 2021