Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 2285–2290 | Cite as

Differences in daily objective physical activity and sedentary time between women with self-reported fibromyalgia and controls: results from the Canadian health measures survey

  • Paquito BernardEmail author
  • G. Hains-Monfette
  • S. Atoui
  • C. Kingsbury
Brief Report


Physical activity and sedentary behaviors are important modifiable factors that influence health and quality of life in women with fibromyalgia. The purpose of this study was to compare objectively assessed physical activity and sedentary time in women self-reporting fibromyalgia with a control group. Data were drawn from the Canadian Health Measures Survey cycles 1, 2, and 3 conducted by Statistics Canada. We included women aged 18 to 79 years with complete accelerometer data. We performed one-way analyses of covariance (adjusted-for socio-demographic and health factors) to determine mean differences in physical activity and sedentary variables (minutes per day of moderate and vigorous physical activity, light physical activity, sedentary and daily steps) between women with and without fibromyalgia. In total, 4132 participants were included. A cross-sectional weighted analysis indicated that 3.1% of participants self-reported a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Participants with fibromyalgia spent less time than controls engaged in moderate and vigorous physical activity (M = 19.2 min/day (SE = 0.7) versus M = 9.1 min/day (SE = 1.2), p = 0.03, η2 = 0.01). No significant differences were found for daily time spent in light physical activity, sedentary activities, and number of steps. Women participants with self-reported fibromyalgia spent significantly less time in moderate and vigorous physical activity than control. Physical activity promotion interventions for women with self-reported fibromyalgia should, as a priority, target physical activities with moderate to vigorous intensity.


Canada Exercise Fibromyalgia Sedentary Walking 



The authors would like to thank Noella Everard, the participants of the Canadian Health Measures Survey as well as all staff at Statistics Canada involved in the operations of the survey. GHM and SA are supported by the Quebec Inter-university Center for Social Statistics.

Author contributions

PB conceived the study. PB provided statistical expertise in complex survey. GHM and SA conducted the primary statistical analyses and wrote results section. PB and CK wrote introduction and discussion sections. All authors contributed to refinement of the study protocol and approved the final manuscript.

Funding information

PB is supported by the Université du Québec à Montréal, Institut Universitaire de Santé Mentale de Montréal and by a salary award from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Santé.

Compliance with ethical standards



Supplementary material

10067_2018_4139_MOESM1_ESM.doc (106 kb)
ESM 1 (DOC 106 kb)


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Copyright information

© International League of Associations for Rheumatology (ILAR) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Activity SciencesUniversité du Québec à MontréalQuébecCanada
  2. 2.Faculté des sciences, Département des Sciences de l’Activité PhysiqueUQÀM, Complexe des SciencesQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Research CenterUniversity Institute of Mental Health at MontrealQuébecCanada

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