Patients with hemophilia who were given a free gym membership and personal training had increased activity, according to a new study published in Research and Practice in Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

The study showed that adding the personal trainer to the free gym membership motivated the patients to conduct training and maintain physical activity.

“This is an example of the positive effect of facilitating behavioral change by providing resources and environmental support,” Johan Blokzijl, PT, MSc, and colleagues wrote.

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Patients with hemophilia should engage in physical activity to increase their muscle strength and coordination, maintain healthy weights, and support their bone health, according to guideline recommendations.

Read more about hemophilia guidelines

McLaughlin and colleagues recruited 19 patients with hemophilia, aged 18 to 25 years with low bleeding rates and good joint health, and gave them activity trackers and free gym memberships. They also gave half of the patients a 12-week tailored, personal trainer-led fitness program.

Their aim was to explore ways in which patients with hemophilia can be supported to practice nonmedicalized exercise approaches. They identified 5 factors that can help maintain behavioral changes in these patients, which included enlarging intrinsic motivation, facilitating behavior self-regulation, utilizing cues and reshaping the patients’ environments, providing the necessary resources, and providing social support.

“These techniques should help people to adhere to physical activity and limit sedentary behavior in the long term and to incorporate this into daily life,” the authors of the commentary wrote.

They added that future studies should assess whether behavioral change techniques could enable patients with hemophilia to reduce the time they spend being inactive and include physical activity in their everyday lives. 


Blokzijl J, Timmer MA, van Vulpen LFD. Movement behavior in hemophilia—from medicalized training approaches toward an active lifestyle. Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2021;5(8):e12639. doi:10.1002/rth2.12639

McLaughlin P, Holland M, Dodgson S, Khair K. Project GYM: a randomized feasibility study investigating effect on motivation of personal trainer-led exercise in young men with hemophilia. Res Pract Thromb Haemost. 2021;5(8):e12613. doi:10.1002/rth2.12613