Association between fecal incontinence and objectively measured physical activity in U.S. Adults

Paul D. Loprinzi, Satish S. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Brisk physical activity may facilitate fecal incontinence due to physical activity-induced colonic motility. However, there currently are no studies that have examined the relationship between fecal incontinence and free-living physical activity behavior.

Aim: Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between fecal incontinence and objectively measured physical activity among adults.

Materials and Methods: A national sample of adults in the United States (n = 2565, 20-85 years) completed the Fecal Incontinence Severity Index questionnaire and wore an accelerometer for a week to objectively measure physical activity behavior.

Results: After adjustments, fecal incontinence was positively associated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (β = 0.85, P = 0.04), suggesting that lower perceived severity of fecal incontinence was associated with greater engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Fecal incontinence was not significantly associated with light-intensity physical activity (P = 0.27).

Conclusion: Our results suggest that adults in the United States with greater perceived severity of fecal incontinence engage in less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity; however, those with greater severity of fecal incontinence do not appear to have different levels of light-intensity physical activity behavior. Given the emerging research showing beneficial effects of light-intensity physical activity, health care professionals should encourage light-intensity physical activity to their patients with fecal incontinence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-579
Number of pages5
JournalNorth American Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014



  • Bowel health
  • Epidemiology
  • Exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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