American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) International Multidisciplinary Roundtable report on physical activity and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Jonathan G. Stine, Michelle T. Long, Kathleen E. Corey, Robert E. Sallis, Alina M. Allen, Matthew J. Armstrong, David E. Conroy, Daniel J. Cuthbertson, Andres Duarte-Rojo, Kate Hallsworth, Ingrid J. Hickman, Matthew R. Kappus, Shelley E. Keating, Christopher J.A. Pugh, Yaron Rotman, Tracey G. Simon, Eduardo Vilar-Gomez, Vincent Wai Sun Wong, Kathryn H. Schmitz

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Background and Aims: We present findings from the inaugural American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) International Multidisciplinary Roundtable, which was convened to evaluate the evidence for physical activity as a means of preventing or modifying the course of NAFLD. Approach and Results: A scoping review was conducted to map the scientific literature and identify key concepts, research gaps, and evidence available to inform clinical practice, policymaking, and research. The scientific evidence demonstrated regular physical activity is associated with decreased risk of NAFLD development. Low physical activity is associated with a greater risk for disease progression and extrahepatic cancer. During routine health care visits, all patients with NAFLD should be screened for and counseled about physical activity benefits, including reduction in liver fat and improvement in body composition, fitness, and quality of life. While most physical activity benefits occur without clinically significant weight loss, evidence remains limited regarding the association between physical activity and liver fibrosis. At least 150 min/wk of moderate or 75 min/wk of vigorous-intensity physical activity are recommended for all patients with NAFLD. If a formal exercise training program is prescribed, aerobic exercise with the addition of resistance training is preferred. Conclusions: The panel found consistent and compelling evidence that regular physical activity plays an important role in preventing NAFLD and improving intermediate clinical outcomes. Health care, fitness, and public health professionals are strongly encouraged to disseminate the information in this report. Future research should prioritize determining optimal strategies for promoting physical activity among individuals at risk and in those already diagnosed with NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0108
JournalHepatology Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology

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