Global physical activity levels among people living with HIV: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Davy Vancampfort, James Mugisha, Marc De Hert, Michel Probst, Joseph Firth, Paul Gorczynski, Brendon Stubbs

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Purpose - It is unclear how much physical activity people living with HIV (PLWH) engage in. We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate physical activity levels and its predictors in PLWH.

Methods - PubMed, PsycARTICLES, and CINAHL Plus were searched by two independent reviewers from inception till 1 April 2016 using the keywords: “HIV” OR “AIDS” AND “physical activity” OR “exercise” OR “sports”. A random effects meta-analysis was conducted.

- Across 24 studies including 34 physical activity levels there were 3780 (2471♂) PLWH (mean age range: 37–58 years). PLWH spent 98.9 (95%CI = 64.8–133.1) minutes per day being physically active which is lower than in most other populations with chronic diseases. 50.7% (95%CI = 39.3–62%) (n = 2052) of PLWH complied with the physical activity guidelines of 150 min moderate intensity physical activity per week. The number of steps walked per day in 252 PLWH was 5899 (95%CI = 5678–6418), which is below the 10,000 steps per day recommendation.

- Our data demonstrate that a considerable proportion of PLWH are insufficiently physically active. Future lifestyle interventions specifically targeting the prevention of physical inactivity in PLWH are warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Early online date8 Dec 2016
Publication statusEarly online - 8 Dec 2016


  • exercise
  • physical activity
  • HIV
  • AIDS


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