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IRD AS – Maintain ability to carry out everyday activities

Maintain ability to carry out everyday activities

Evidence summary

There is a high quality evidence that physical activity and exercise interventions for patients with Ankylosing Spondylitis improves physical function outcomes and disease activity scores[1-6]. Meta-analysis and systematic reviews report improvements in the Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index with physical activity/exercises [2-6]. However, it should be noted that there is significant heterogeneity amongst the dose and type of intervention. Examples include Swimming/Pilates/Global Posture Retraining, Aquatic exercises/walking/Nordiac walking/specific exercises and therefore we are unable to recommend one specific activity over another.

Quality of evidence

High quality

Strength of recommendation



There is a strong evidence that physical activity and exercise interventions have been shown to improve physical function outcomes scores. Motivating people to keep physically active can help maintain independence and allow them to continue with employment and perform key activities.


  1. Millner JR, Barron JS, Beinke KM, et al. Exercise for ankylosing spondylitis: An evidence-based consensus statement. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2016;45(4):411-427.
  2. Pécourneau V, Degboé Y, Barnetche T, Cantagrel A, Constantin A, Ruyssen-Witrand A. Effectiveness of Exercise Programs in Ankylosing Spondylitis: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017.
  3. 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.
  4. Martins NA, Furtado GE, Campos MJ, Leitão JC, Filaire E, Ferreira JP. Exercise and ankylosing spondylitis with New York modified criteria: a systematic review of controlled trials with meta-analysis. Acta Reumatol Port. 2014;39(4):298-308.
  5. Health Do. Start Active, Stay Active. In: Strategy; 2011.
  6. Sveaas SH, Smedslund G, Hagen KB, Dagfinrud H. Effect of cardiorespiratory and strength exercises on disease activity in patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(14):1065-1072.