Hundreds of millions of people suffer every day from respiratory diseases. According to the latest World Health Organisation estimates, around 64 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Having a physically active lifestyle and reducing prolonged periods of sedentary behaviour (sitting) reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes as well as improving mental health. For patients with COPD, levels of physical activity are low and more time is spent sedentary which also increases their risk of being admitted to hospital.

The Physical Activity and Respiratory Health (PhARaoH) study aims to examine the roles of a range of lifestyle, social and psychological factors to better understand respiratory disease. Of particular focus is the extent to which physical activity behaviours play a role in respiratory disease development and progression.

The results of this large observational study will be used to inform strategies to reduce the risk of respiratory disease.


Institutions / organisations and researchers

Loughborough University

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit


  • 436 participants were recruited from across Leicestershire and Rutland, UK
  • 139 were COPD patients recruited from primary care through general practices

Find out more about this study.