Measuring exercise helped predict survivors of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to research reported by Lung Disease News.

Researchers at two German clinics —the Pulmonary Research Institute at LungenClinic Grosshansdorf and the Center for Interstitial and Rare Lung Diseases in Heidelberg — assessed whether physical activity could help predict all-cause mortality among 46 patients with IPF (mean age 67 years old) followed for three years.

They measured physical activity based on patients’ steps per day using a multisensory armband at baseline and at follow-up over a period of one week each. Patients wore the devices at all times except when attending to personal hygiene. The team also used several measures to analyze lung function and exercise capacity — such as the forced vital capacity (FVC), % predicted FVC (FVC% pred), and the 6-minute walking distance (6MWD) — as well as disease severity and progression.