Position Statement on Exercise Dosage in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases: The role of the IMPACT-RMD Toolkit

George S. Metsios*, Nina Brodin, Thea P. M. Vliet Vlieland, Cornelia H. M. Van den Ende, Antonios Stavropoulos-Kalinoglou, Ioannis Fatouros, Martin van der Esch, Sally A. M. Fenton, Katerina Tzika, Rikke Helene Moe, Jet J. C. S. Veldhuijzen van Zanten, Yiannis Koutedakis, Thijs Willem Swinnen, Aristidis S. Veskoukis, Carina Boström, Norelee Kennedy, Elena Nikiphorou, George E. Fragoulis, Karin Niedermann, George D. Kitas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There is convincing evidence to suggest that exercise interventions can significantly improve disease-related outcomes as well as comorbidities in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). All exercise interventions should be appropriately defined by their dose, which comprises of two components: a) the FITT (frequency, intensity, time and type) and b) the training (ie, specificity, overload, progression, initial values, reversibility, and diminishing returns) principles. In the published RMD literature, exercise dosage is often misreported, which in “pharmaceutical treatment terms”, this would be the equivalent of receiving the wrong medication dosage. Lack of appropriately reporting exercise dosage in RMDs, therefore, results in limited clarity on the effects of exercise interventions on different outcomes while it also hinders reproducibility, generalisability and accuracy of research findings. Based on the collective but limited current knowledge, the main purpose of the present Position Statement is to provide specific guidance for RMD researchers to help improve the reporting of exercise dosage and help advance research into this important field of investigation. We also propose the use of the IMPACT-RMD toolkit, a tool that can be used in the design and reporting phase of every trial.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-385
JournalMediterranean Journal of Rheumatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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