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Regular contact with healthcare professionals, support from peers and engaging in organised exercise could help people with chronic lung conditions to lead more active - and generally better lives, according to new research.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Physical inactivity in those with COPD, a common and preventable respiratory condition that is manageable, but is not currently curable, can lead to poor prognosis across the course of the disease, including increased risk of hospitalisation and death.

Research has previously shown that pulmonary rehabilitation, a treatment of exercise and education in the NHS, can improve fitness, reduce shortness of breath and enhance quality of life in people with COPD. People with COPD report that they enjoy pulmonary rehabilitation and value support from healthcare professionals during the programme. However, the average duration of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes in the NHS are between 6 to 8 weeks.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)

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