Leisure-time vigorous physical activity is associated with better lung function: The prospective ECRHS study

Elaine Fuertes, Anne Elie Carsin, Josep M. Antó, Roberto Bono, Angelo Guido Corsico, Pascal Demoly, Thorarinn Gislason, José Antonio Gullón, Christer Janson, Deborah Jarvis, Joachim Heinrich, Mathias Holm, Bénédicte Leynaert, Alessandro Marcon, Jesús Martinez-Moratalla, Dennis Nowak, Silvia Pascual Erquicia, Nicole M. Probst-Hensch, Chantal Raherison, Wasif RazaFrancisco Gómez Real, Melissa Russell, José Luis Sánchez-Ramos, Joost Weyler, Judith Garcia Aymerich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective We assessed associations between physical activity and lung function, and its decline, in the prospective population-based European Community Respiratory Health Survey cohort. Methods FEV 1 and FVC were measured in 3912 participants at 27-57 years and 39-67 years (mean time between examinations=11.1 years). Physical activity frequency and duration were assessed using questionnaires and used to identify active individuals (physical activity ≥2 times and ≥1 hour per week) at each examination. Adjusted mixed linear regression models assessed associations of regular physical activity with FEV 1 and FVC. Results Physical activity frequency and duration increased over the study period. In adjusted models, active individuals at the first examination had higher FEV 1 (43.6 mL (95% CI 12.0 to 75.1)) and FVC (53.9 mL (95% CI 17.8 to 89.9)) at both examinations than their non-active counterparts. These associations appeared restricted to current smokers. In the whole population, FEV 1 and FVC were higher among those who changed from inactive to active during the follow-up (38.0 mL (95% CI 15.8 to 60.3) and 54.2 mL (95% CI 25.1 to 83.3), respectively) and who were consistently active, compared with those consistently non-active. No associations were found for lung function decline. Conclusion Leisure-time vigorous physical activity was associated with higher FEV 1 and FVC over a 10-year period among current smokers, but not with FEV 1 and FVC decline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-384
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018


  • adults
  • cohort
  • forced expiratory volume in one second
  • forced vital capacity
  • physical activity
  • smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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