Physical Activity, Exercise & Rehabilitation

Our group performs clinical research in the field of primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
A research focus is physical activity assessment and structured exercise interventions in cardiovascular and cardio-oncology rehabilitation programmes, including telerehabilitation. Main patient populations studied are acute and chronic coronary syndromes, heart failure, cancer with cardiotoxic therapies, and cardiovascular patients with diabetes mellitus.
We have a strong research collaboration with the Lifestyle and Behaviour Research Group and the Cardiometabolic Research Group of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM).

Specific research tools

  • Accelerometers (fitbit, Axivity) for objective quantification of physical activity volume and intensity
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) for determining cardiorespiratory fitness and ventilatory thresholds, identification of exercise limiting systems, and prognostic stratification
  • Telemedicine devices for recording biosignals (ECG, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, body weight)  
Key parameters of a cardiopulmonary exercise test
Key parameters of a CPET in a 46 years old patient with ischemic cardiomyopathy, ejection fraction 28%, New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III. The nine-panel plot shows a severely reduced cardiorespiratory fitness (peak VO2 18 ml/min/kg, 48% of predicted), a severely reduced ventilatory efficiency (VE/VCO2 slope of 50), and a pattern of exercise oscillatory ventilation. VE, ventilation; HR, heart rate; VO2, oxygen consumption; VCO2, carbon dioxide output; AT, anaerobic (first ventilatory) threshold; RCP, respiratory compensation point (second ventilatory threshold); EqO2, ventilatory equivalents for oxygen; EqCO2, ventilatory equivalents for carbon dioxide; VT, tidal volume; RER, respiratory exchange ratio; BR, breathing reserve; PETO2; end-tidal partial pressure of oxygen; PETCO2, end-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide.



PD. Dr. Sc. nat. Prisca Eser
Head of Research Group
+41 31 632 4398

Prof. Dr. med. Matthias Wilhelm
Medical Director, Medical Division Rehabilitation & Sports Medicine
+41 31 632 8986