Skip to main content

A pilot study of a single intermittent arm cycling exercise programme on people affected by Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD).

Philp, F., Kulshrestha, R., Emery, N., Arkesteijn, M., Pandyan, A. and Willis, T., 2022. A pilot study of a single intermittent arm cycling exercise programme on people affected by Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD). PLoS One, 17 (6), e0268990.

Full text available as:

journal.pone.0268990.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0268990


For patients affected by Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD), alternate methods for increasing physical activity engagement that may benefit shoulder function and wider health are needed. Arm cycling has been proposed as a potential method for achieving this although dosage parameters and evidence is limited. The aim of this study was to conduct a pilot study evaluating the effect of a single intermittent arm cycling exercise programme on people affected by FSHD. People with confirmed genetic diagnosis of FSHD between the ages 18-60 years were recruited to attend a single session for the exercise intervention (5 exercise efforts lasting 2 minutes each with 30 seconds of rest between each effort). Prior to exercise, measures of shoulder function (Oxford shoulder score), strength and range of movement were recorded. During the exercise participants were video recorded to quantify range of movement and extract movement profile features. Participants comments were recorded and followed up four days later to check for adverse events. Fifteen participants, (6F:9M) were recruited with median (IQR) Oxford Shoulder Scores of 25 (18 to 39). All participants successfully completed the exercise intervention with only transient symptoms consistent with exercise being reported and achieving a median (IQR) rate of perceived exertion scores of 13 (12 to 13). Movement profile data was available for 12 out of 15 participants and suggests that exercise intensity did not compromise movement. An association between strength and shoulder function (R2 = 0.5147), Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of the final effort against shoulder function and strength (R2 = 0.2344 and 0.1743 respectively) was identified. Participant comments were positive regarding the exercise intervention. Our study demonstrates that an intermittent arm cycling programme is feasible for people affected by FSHD. Further work is needed to evaluate physiological responses to exercise across variations in programme variables and equipment set up in a larger sample of people affected by FSHD.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Data Availability Statement: Our ethics approval does not allow for our study data to be stored on an open access data repository. Due to ethical restrictions, the data for this study is only available on request from, to researchers who can demonstrate legitimate interest and appropriate ethical approval. Funding: The study was funded by The Orthopaedic Institute Limited grant reference number RPG162.
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:37103
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:27 Jun 2022 10:56
Last Modified:27 Jun 2022 10:56


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -