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exercise, heart diseases, physical activity, rehabilitation, sedentary



  1. Ramadi, Ailar PhD
  2. Buijs, David M. MSc
  3. Threlfall, Tyler G. BSc
  4. Aggarwal, Sandeep G. MD
  5. Arena, Ross PhD, PT
  6. Rodgers, Wendy M. PhD
  7. Haennel, Robert G. PhD


Background: Despite the health benefits associated with regular physical activity (PA), many cardiac patients fail to maintain optimal levels of PA after completing cardiac rehabilitation (CR). The long-term impact of different CR delivery models on the PA habits of cardiac patients is not completely understood.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to use a multisensor accelerometer to compare the long-term impact of a traditional versus fast-track CR on the PA of patients with coronary artery disease 6 months after CR entry.


Methods: Forty-four participants attended either traditional (twice a week, 12 weeks; n = 24) or fast-track (once a week, 8 weeks; n = 20) CR. Exercise capacity (ie, 6-minute walk test distance) and PA were assessed at baseline and at 12 weeks and 6 months after CR entry.


Results: At 12 weeks, exercise capacity increased significantly in both groups and remained elevated by the 6-month follow-up. Sedentary time decreased from baseline to 12 weeks. However, at 6 months, it was comparable with the baseline level. There was no significant change in any other PA marker (ie, steps/day, time in light and moderate-vigorous PA) over the course of the study.


Conclusions: Findings support the long-term effectiveness of CR on exercise capacity irrespective of the delivery model. However, participation in CR program, whether it be a traditional or fast-track CR exercise program, may not lead to long-term PA behavior change. Thus, CR participants may benefit from structured strategies that promote long-term PA adherence in addition to facilitating exercise capacity improvement.