Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Exercise training for adults with chronic kidney disease

Heiwe S, Jacobson SH
Published Online: 
5 October 2011

Exercise regimens are based on the frequency, intensity and duration of exercise training as well as the type of activity and the individual's initial level of physical fitness. All these factors have to be taken into account when aiming to achieve the goal with the regular exercise training and or rehabilitation.

Forty-five studies, randomising 1863 participants were included in this review. Thirty two studies presented data that could be included in the meta-analyses.This review showed that regular exercise training significantly improved physical fitness, physical functioning (e.g. walking capacity), and health-related quality of life in adults with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Beneficial effects were also seen on other outcome measures, such as blood pressure, but where the level of evidence is somewhat lower due to too few research studies and or small study populations. Beneficial effects were present in both adults with CKD but not yet in need of dialysis treatment, patients with dialysis (haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis) and kidney transplant recipients.

This systematic review and meta-analysis presents evidence-based data to clinicians and patients on which type of exercise regimen (type of exercises, intensity, frequency and duration of exercise) that should be used to optimise the effect size. The results should be implemented by clinicians who should encourage and inform adults with CKD that there is scientific evidence for beneficial effects of regular exercise training, and who should use an adequate exercise intervention in order to achieve the patient’s and the clinician's goal with the regular exercise.