Table 1

Exercise immunology training studies with RA participants

InvestigatorsStudy participantsResearch designPrimary findings
Andersson et al, 20202649 older adults (≥65 years) with RARandomised to 20 weeks of mixed aerobic and resistance exercise (supervised three sessions/week) or control (home-based light exercise) groupsDespite improvements in aerobic capacity and strength with supervised exercise, no group differences for DAS28, CRP or MDSCs. Proportions of blood regulatory T and B cells decreased with supervised exercise
Bartlett et al, 20182712 physically inactive older adults (age 64±7 years) with RAAll participants, 10 weeks of high intensity interval walk training (three sessions/week, 30 min/session, 10 1 min intense intervals); no control groupAerobic capacity improved, with 38% decrease in DAS28; improvement in several measures of innate immune function; no changed in CRP and cytokines
Baslund et al, 19932818 adults with RA randomised to training (49±3 years) and control (47±3 years) groupsTraining group exercised on bicycle ergometers for 8 weeks (4–5 sessions/week, interval training with 3×5 min intense intervalsNo group differences over time for measures of T and NK cell function or blood cytokine levels (IL-6, IL-1α, IL-1β)
Rall et al, 1996298 adults with RA (ages 25–65 years), 8 healthy young adults (ages 22–30 years), 14 healthy elderly adults (ages 65–80 years)Participants with RA, young adults and half of elderly adults trained for 12 weeks; progressive resistance training, 2 sessions/week, 5 exercises, 3 sets, 8 repsNo group differences over time for immune cell counts, cytokine production, T cell proliferation or DTH response.
  • CRP, C reactive protein; DAS28, disease activity score 28; DTH, delayed type hypersensitivity; IL, interleukin; MDSCs, myeloid derived suppressor cells; NK, natural killer; RA, rheumatoid arthritis.