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IRD AS – Improves fitness

Improves fitness

Evidence summary

Physical activity interventions have been shown to improve cardiovascular fitness [1-3]. A recent meta-analysis found a moderate beneficial effect on cardiovascular fitness in people with inflammatory arthritis [3].

Quality of evidence

High quality

Strength of recommendation



There is a strong evidence that physical activity and exercise interventions can help improve cardiovascular fitness.  Physical activity should be an integral part of standard care for people with spondyloarthritis.


  1. Saracoglu I, Kurt G, Okur EO, et al. The effectiveness of specific exercise types on cardiopulmonary functions in patients with ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review. Rheumatol Int. 2017;37(3):409-421.
  2. Niedermann K, Sidelnikov E, Muggli C, et al. Effect of cardiovascular training on fitness and perceived disease activity in people with ankylosing spondylitis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013;65(11):1844-1852.
  3. Rausch Osthoff AK, Niedermann K, Braun J, Adams J, Brodin N, Dagfinrud H, et al. 2018 EULAR recommendations for physical activity in people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Ann Rheum Dis. 2018.