Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is growing worldwide, with increasing numbers of patients facing end-stage renal disease, high cardiovascular risk, disability and mortality. Early recognition of CKD and improvements in lifestyle are crucial for maintaining or recovering both physical function and quality of life.
It is well known that reducing sedentariness, increasing physical activity and initiating exercise programs counteract cardiovascular risk and frailty, limit deconditioning and sarcopenia, and improve mobility, without side-effects. However, these interventions, often requested by CKD patients themselves, are scarcely available. Indeed, it is necessary to identify and train specialists on exercise in CKD and to sensitize doctors and health personnel, so that they can direct patients towards an active lifestyle. On the other hand, effective and sustainable interventions, capable of overcoming patients’ barriers to exercise, remain unexplored.
Scientific societies, international research teams and administrators need to work together to avoid that exercise in nephrology remains an empty narrative, a niche interest without any translations into clinical practice, with no benefit to the physical and mental health of CKD patients.
Keywords: chronic kidney disease; physical activity; exercise; quality of life; sarcopenia; disability; physical function; barriers.