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IRD CTD – Improve your ability to carry out daily activities

Maintain independence by Moving more:

Whilst there is limited data in relation to physical activity and connective tissues disease, exercise based interventions improved fatigue and physical fitness in SLE [1-2,5] and there were improvements seen in disease activity score in Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis patients [3,6] .  Exercise programmes were safe and do not adversely affect disease activity in those with SLE [6]. Motivating patients to keep physically active can help maintain independence and allow them to continue with employment and perform key activities.

Quality of evidence:

Grade B– Moderate Quality

Strength of recommendation

Grade 2 – weak Recommendation


There is some moderate quality evidence that exercise interventions can help maintain independence and they do not affect disease activity scores.


  1. O’Dwyer T, Durcan L, Wilson F. Exercise and physical activity in systemic lupus erythematosus: A systematic review with meta-analyses. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2017;47(2):204-215.
  2. Yuen HK, Cunningham MA. Optimal management of fatigue in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2014;10:775-786.
  3. Alemo Munters L, Dastmalchi M, Andgren V, et al. Improvement in health and possible reduction in disease activity using endurance exercise in patients with established polymyositis and dermatomyositis: a multicenter randomized controlled trial with a 1-year open extension followup. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013;65(12):1959-1968.
  4. Department of Health. Start Active, Stay Active. In: Strategy; 2011.
  5. Tench CM, McCarthy J, McCurdie I, White PD, D’cruz DP. Fatigue in systemic lupus erythematosus: a randomized controlled trial of exercise. Rheumatology. 2003 Sep 1;42(9):1050-4.
  6. Wiesinger GF, Quittan M, Graninger M, Seeber A, Ebenbichler G, Sturm B, Kerschan K, Smolen J, Graninger W. Benefit of 6 months long-term physical training in polymyositis/dermatomyositis patients. British journal of rheumatology. 1998 Dec 1;37(12):1338-42.