Systemic sclerosis patients experience painful vascular spasms in the small blood vessels of the fingers (Raynaud’s phenomenon) triggered by cold or emotional stress.

As a result, patients with systemic sclerosis present a disability to perform certain daily activities involving the hands, having their quality of life negatively affected.

Changing the lifestyle of patients by introducing moderate amounts of exercise might increase the blood flow in the small blood vessels of the fingers and concomitantly improve their quality of life. Therefore, integrating exercise into the NHS treatment pathway might reduce dependence on pharmaceutical agents, benefiting both the patients’ health status and NHS finances.

Exercise might have the potential to improve quality of life in systemic sclerosis patients through its multiple beneficial effects.

This study will make the first step by exploring whether a training regime is suitable and feasible for this patient population.

Institutions / organisations and researchers


  • A preliminary study that critically informs the current research project has been conducted in an older sedentary population. The aim of the study was to validate a fitness test that will be used to assess the physical fitness in patients with systemic sclerosis.