Objectively measured physical activity in obese women with and without migraine

Dale S. Bond, J. Graham Thomas, Kevin C. O'Leary, Richard B. Lipton, B. Lee Peterlin, Julie Roth, Lucille Rathier, Rena R. Wing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aim The aim of this article is to cross-sectionally compare objectively measured physical activity (PA) levels and their association with migraine characteristics in obese women with and without migraine. Methods Obese women seeking weight loss treatment were divided into migraine (n = 25) and control (n = 25) groups matched by age and body mass index (BMI). Participants wore the SenseWear Armband monitor for seven days to objectively evaluate daily light-(LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous intensity PA (MVPA). Migraine diagnosis was confirmed by a neurologist using ICHD-3-beta criteria. Migraine characteristics were tracked daily using a smartphone-based diary over a four-week period immediately preceding the objective PA assessment. Results Migraine participants spent 57.9 fewer minutes/day in LPA (141.1 ± 56.4 vs. 199.1 ± 87.7, p = 0.019) and 24.5 fewer minutes/day in MVPA (27.8 ± 17.0 vs. 52.3 ± 26.0, p < 0.001), compared to controls. Migraine participants reported 4.8 ± 3.1 migraine days/month (mean duration = 17.1 ± 8.9 hours; mean maximum pain severity = 6.4 ± 1.7 on a 0-10 scale). Higher BMI (p < 0.05), but not migraine characteristics, were related to lower total PA. Additionally, total objectively measured PA was not associated with how often PA was reported to exacerbate migraine attacks during the four-week diary assessment. Conclusions Obese women with migraine spent nearly 1.5 hours/day less in PA compared to controls; however, lower PA was not related to migraine characteristics. Further research is needed to identify PA barriers and effective interventions in obese women with migraine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-893
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 10 2015


  • Obesity
  • headache
  • migraine
  • physical activity
  • smartphone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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