Development of evidence-informed physical activity guidelines for adults with multiple sclerosis

Amy E. Latimer-Cheung, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Audrey L. Hicks, Robert W. Motl, Lara A. Pilutti, Mary Duggan, Garry Wheeler, Ravin Persad, Karen M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Most adults with multiple sclerosis (MS) are physically inactive. Physical activity guidelines are an important tool for exercise prescription, promotion, and monitoring. This article describes the application of international standards for guideline development in the creation of evidence-based physical activity guidelines for people with MS. The development process was informed by the Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation II instrument. The evidence base for the guidelines consisted of a systematic review of research examining the effects of exercise on fitness, fatigue, mobility, and health-related quality of life among people with MS. A multidisciplinary consensus panel deliberated the evidence and generated the guidelines and a preamble. Expert and stakeholder reviews of the materials led to refinement of the wording of both components of the guidelines. The resulting guidelines state that to achieve important fitness benefits, adults with MS who have mild to moderate disability need at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity 2 times per week and strength training exercises for major muscle groups 2 times per week. Meeting these guidelines may also reduce fatigue, improve mobility, and enhance elements of health-related quality of life. People with MS and health professionals are encouraged to adopt these rigorously developed guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1829-1836.e7
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Exercise Guideline
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Physical activity
  • Physical fitness
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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