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Perceptions and attitudes towards gym use and physical activity in young men with haemophilia



A growing body of evidence supports the recommendation of both physiotherapy and physical activity in people with haemophilia. Physical benefits include increasing strength and flexibility and reducing the risks of osteoporosis, arthropathy, and intramuscular and joint bleeds; social benefits have also been observed. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that people with haemophilia may still be averse to engaging with physical activity due to fears of causing bleeding, joint pain and joint damage.


Qualitative interviews were conducted with young men with haemophilia treated at comprehensive care centres in London, to explore and identify the reasons behind risk-averse behaviours towards exercise and physical activity. The interview questions were designed to prompt discussion and capture opinions relating to participants’ physical activity and gym membership/use, and the degree to which their haemophilia impacts on both.


Ten participants were interviewed. Preferred activities were variable, with five participants describing themselves as very physically active, three moderately active, and two reporting little physical activity; four described themselves as ‘not gym-confident’. Seven participants described themselves as highly or moderately motivated to undertake physical activity, with motivations including weight loss and getting fit for summer holidays. However, there was some anxiety around weight-bearing exercise due to the fear of pain or injury. All participants had been exposed to personal trainers (PTs) and recognised the importance of being properly introduced to training equipment but felt that PTs were too expensive for them. The majority of participants reported sports-related injuries and self-perceived limitations on activity due to their personal/individual experience of living with haemophlia. Physiotherapists were often the first point of contact for advice and support on safe physical activity. All participants recognised the benefits of physical activity and had been encouraged in this by their physiotherapists.


Young men with haemophilia are keen to use the gym as part of their personal fitness regimens. The ongoing safety concerns of health care professionals warrants further research.

Częstotliwość wydawania:
Volume Open
Dziedziny czasopisma:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other, Clinical Medicine, Pharmacy, Pharmacology