Objectively-assessed physical activity and self-reported activity pacing in adults with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study

Ulric S. Abonie, John Saxton, Katherine Baker, Florentina Hettinga*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


To examine the association between self-reported activity pacing (a strategy to manage fatigue symptoms) and objectively-measured physical activity behaviours in adults with multiple sclerosis.

Single cross-sectional study

Multiple sclerosis rehabilitation centre in Colchester, United Kingdom.

Twenty-one adults (59 ± 9 years) with multiple sclerosis.

Main measures:
Physical activity behaviours (activity level: activity counts per minute; activity variability: highest activity counts per minute each day divided by activity counts per minute on that day) were measured with accelerometers. Self-reported activity pacing (Activity Pacing and Risk of Overactivity Questionnaire), fatigue severity (Fatigue Severity Scale) and health-related quality of life (RAND-12-Item Short-Form Health Survey) were measured. Scatter plots were used to explore associations between measures.

Activity level was 258 ± 133 counts per minutes, activity variability was 4 ± 1, self-reported activity pacing was 3 ± 1, fatigue severity was 5 ± 2 and health-related quality of life was 43 ± 8. Increased self-reported activity pacing was associated with lower activity levels and less variability in daily activities.

This investigation suggests that people with multiple sclerosis who have low physical activity levels could be inappropriately using activity pacing as a reactionary response to their multiple sclerosis symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2692155211024135
Pages (from-to)1781-1788
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Rehabilitation
Issue number12
Early online date16 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021


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