Physical inactivity is associated with comorbidities and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. Although non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is important for evaluating the physical activity level (PAL) of patients with chronic diseases, it has not yet been assessed in COPD patients. This study included male patients with COPD (n = 28) and high risk for COPD (n = 8). Total energy expenditure (TEE) and basal metabolic rate (BMR) were measured using the doubly labeled water (DLW) method and indirect calorimetry, respectively. PAL was calculated as TEE/BMR, while the NEAT was obtained from a questionnaire. Physical activity was also assessed using an accelerometer. The total NEAT score was correlated with PAL (r = 0.534, P < 0.001), while PAL was correlated more strongly with the non-locomotive NEAT score (r = 0.548, P < 0.001) than the locomotive NEAT score (r = 0.278, P = 0.10). Regarding accelerometer-obtained data, this questionnaire mainly reflected steps/day and the duration of light locomotive and non-locomotive daily activities. The NEAT score is a possible option for evaluating PAL in daily clinical practice. The present results indicated that non-locomotive activity may have a greater impact on PAL than locomotive activity in COPD patients.
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