Purpose: The aim of our work was to determine the level of physical activity (PA) in patients with a diagnostic of heart failure and the barriers that prevent them from carry out more exercise.
Method: A cross-sectional study was performed in patients with HF (n=110). The study was approved by the Regional Ethics Committee.
The levels of PA were measured with the use of an international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ). The barriers to perform the exercise were evaluated via a brief structured interview. Prior to the interview, the participants were encouraged to identify the reasons that frequently prevented them to practice physical exercise and enough time was allowed to consider this. The process followed by a discussion with each individual to try and establish the nature and number of barriers encountered.
Results: From the 82 HF participants, it was found that neither of them performed the high-level PA (3000MET). 11% performed moderate PA (600-3000MET) and 89% of participants confirmed that they performed low level PA (<600). The total METS measure for the total of participants was 769,64. The participants stated to practice a small part of vigorous exercise such as swimming, aerobics or cycling. Moderated activities such as carrying loads, or cycling at a steady pace or jogging. It was determined that generally, participants were sedentary/resting for an average of 820,24 minutes.
The most frequent barriers were the ‘lack of motivation’ (95,1%). Closely followed by ‘other health problems’ (84.1%),‘climate conditions (65.9%). While less frequent barriers were lack of time to exercise due to work commitments (19,5%) and lack of time in general(20,7%).
Conclusion: the level of physical activity in patients with HF is generally low, with a great tendency to sedentary life styles. The main barriers identified were lack of motivation, generic health issues and the feeling that they are not fit to perform physical activities.