Influencing factors of sedentary behaviour in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a systematic review

Stefanie Harding, Alan Richardson, Angela Glynn, Luke Hodgson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are more likely to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. Increased sedentary behaviour is associated with adverse health consequences and reduced life expectancy.

Aim: This mixed-methods systematic review aimed to report the factors contributing to sedentary behaviour in people with COPD.

Methods: A systematic search of electronic databases (Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO and Cochrane Library) was conducted and supported by a clinician librarian in March 2023. Papers were identified and screened by two independent researchers against the inclusion and exclusion criteria, followed by data extraction and analysis of quality. Quantitative and qualitative data synthesis was performed.

Results: 1037 records were identified, 29 studies were included (26 quantitative and 3 qualitative studies) and most studies were conducted in high-income countries. The most common influencers of sedentary behaviour were associated with disease severity, dyspnoea, comorbidities, exercise capacity, use of supplemental oxygen and walking aids, and environmental factors. In-depth findings from qualitative studies included a lack of knowledge, self-perception and motivation. However, sedentarism in some was also a conscious approach, enabling enjoyment when participating in hobbies or activities.

Conclusions: Influencers of sedentary behaviour in people living with COPD are multifactorial. Identifying and understanding these factors should inform the design of future interventions and guidelines. A tailored, multimodal approach could have the potential to address sedentary behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere002261
JournalBMJ Open Respiratory Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024


  • COPD Exacerbations
  • Exercise

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