Sedentary behaviour in people with multiple sclerosis: Is it time to stand up against MS?

Jet J.C.S. Veldhuijzen Van Zanten, Lara A. Pilutti, Joan L. Duda, Robert W. Motl

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Historically, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have been considered sedentary, although the actual scientific study of sedentary behaviour in MS did not originate until 2011. Sedentary behaviour, which is conceptually distinct from physical inactivity, is defined as any waking activity characterised by an energy expenditure ≥ 1.5 metabolic equivalents and in a sitting or reclining posture. In the general population, the volume of sitting time is associated with increased risks of morbidity and mortality, independent of physical activity, and has been suggested to carry a greater risk of mortality than smoking behaviour. There are many symptoms of MS (e.g. mobility disability and fatigue) that could increase the prevalence of sedentary behaviour, and sedentary behaviour may have considerable implications for the development of comorbid conditions prevalent in MS. This review provides a summary of the rates, correlates, consequences and interventions attempting to reduce sedentary behaviour in MS. We provide a research agenda that guides future research on sedentary behaviour in MS. This paper provides a clarion call that it is time to 'stand up against MS'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1256
Number of pages7
JournalMultiple Sclerosis
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


  • Multiple sclerosis
  • sedentary behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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