Background Over 250 000 people in the UK are affected with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and approximately 10 000 new cases are diagnosed every year. These chronic bowel conditions have been shown to affect both work and recreational activity. In the general population, regular exercise has numerous benefits to health and well-being and there are additional benefits for those with IBD. However, people with IBD face significant challenges in trying to take regular exercise.
Objective With the renewed focus on sport brought about by the recent London Olympics, Crohn's and Colitis UK surveyed its members to explore their sport and fitness habits.
Methods 918 members participated in the survey, which is the largest survey of its kind, investigating the exercise habits of people with IBD.
Results The survey showed widespread uptake of exercise in those with IBD, with a large number feeling better for it. However, it also identified a considerable number of respondents who reported a significant negative impact of IBD on their ability to take up, enjoy and derive benefit from sporting activities.
Conclusion Asking questions about sporting leisure activity in clinical consultations may identify those in need of help and support and possibly identify factors to be dealt with, in order to enable them to take part in these beneficial activities.
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