Fibromyalgia Syndrome: The Beneficial Effects of Exercise


  • William B. Karper EdD,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • William B. Karper, EdD, is associate professor with Behavioral Health and Fitness Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, School of Health and Human Performance, University of North Carolina—Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

  • Caroline R. F. Jannes MS,

    Post Graduate AssistantSearch for more papers by this author
    • Caroline R. F. Jannes, MS, Ghent, Belgium is a post graduate assistant, University of North Carolina—Greensboro, Greensboro, NC.

  • Janis L. Hampton MS

    Assistant ProfessorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Janis L. Hampton, MS, is assistant professor of health, physical education, and recreation at Duke University, Durham, NC.


This article highlights positive outcomes for a convenience sample of six women (49–64 years of age) with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) who participated in an exercise program over 5 years. This group showed improvement with various FMS symptoms, fitness, and psychosocial factors early in the program, then showed further improvement as a result of adding new exercises to the protocol during the fourth and fifth years. Data suggest that certain people with FMS can improve their functional capacity with exercise over time, and move to even higher levels of physical function while aging and coping with FMS. Practical advice is provided for rehabilitation nurses regarding exercise and FMS.