Levels of sedentary behaviour in people with fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Davy Vancampfort, Tine Van Damme, Vanessa Albanio Machado, Ryan L. McGrath, Brendon Stubbs, Felipe B. Schuch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: Sedentary behaviour is associated with pain, fatigue, and a more severe impact of the disease in fibromyalgia, independently of physical activity levels. Despite this knowledge, little attention has been attributed to estimate sedentary behaviour in this population. The aims of this meta-analysis were to: (a) establish the pooled mean time spent sedentary, (b) investigate moderators of sedentary levels, and (c) explore differences with age- and gender-matched general population controls in people with fibromyalgia (PwF). Methods: Two independent authors searched major databases until 1 December 2022. A random effects meta-analysis was performed. The methodological quality of included studies was assessed with the Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-sectional Studies. Results: Across 7 cross-sectional studies of fair methodological quality, there were 1500 patients with fibromyalgia (age range = 43–53 years). PwF spent 545.6 min/day (95% CI = 523.7–567.5, p < 0.001, N = 3) engaging in sedentary behaviour. Self-reported questionnaires overestimate sedentary levels with 314.3 min/day (95% CI = 302.0–326.6, p = 0.001, N = 2). PwF spent 36.14 min/day (95% CI = 16.3–55.9, p < 0.001) more in sedentary behaviour than general population controls. Conclusions: PwF are more sedentary than the general population. The limited available data should however be considered with caution due to substantial heterogeneity. IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Rehabilitation for fibromyalgia should emphasize reducing sedentary behaviour. Health professionals should measure sedentary levels objectively in fibromyalgia since self-report underestimates the actual levels severely. More research on risk factors for sedentary behaviour in fibromyalgia is needed before detailed recommendations can be formulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1921-1927
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number10
Early online date21 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Levels of sedentary behaviour in people with fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this