Workwell Foundation

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Workwell Foundation was founded by Staci Stevens and is based in Ripon, California, USA. It specialises in two-day cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) for people with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and other fatiguing illnesses.

Notable people[edit | edit source]

Notable studies[edit | edit source]

Exercise recommendations for ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

Workwell Foundation recommends short periods (eg: 30 seconds) of analeptic exercise, with periods of rest which are 3-6 times longer than the period of exercise. The amount of exercise that the individual undertakes should be guided by VO2 max testing (or a safe heart rate threshold (generally 60% of maximum heart rate)), and the use of a heart rate monitor (both during exercise and to help with pacing) is recommended to ensure that the individual doesn't exceed their capacity. The Foundation also advises against aerobic exercise for people with ME/CFS.[6][7][8]

This approach to exercise differs from Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) in several important ways:

  • There is no claim that the exercise program will cure the condition. The aim is to increase functional strength and flexibility, and to improve quality of life[7]
  • This program is based on a deep understanding of Post-exertional malaise (PEM), and the importance of staying within the energy envelope in order to not trigger PEM[6]
  • There is a recognition that any approach to exercise with people with ME/CFS must be carefully tailored to the individual. There is no one-size fits all[7]
  • This approach utilises objective measures such as VO2 max testing and heart rate monitoring to guide the level of activity suitable for the individual[8]


2018, The Workwell Foundation release an open letter to healthcare providers, detailing their concerns about GET.

Funding[edit | edit source]

Talks and Interviews[edit | edit source]


Online presence[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Snell, Christopher R; Stevens, Staci R; Davenport, Todd E; Van Ness, J Mark (31 Oct 2013), "Discriminative Validity of Metabolic and Workload Measurements for Identifying People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", Physical Therapy (APTA), 93 (11): 1484-1492, doi:10.2522/ptj.20110368, PMID 23813081 
  2. Davenport, Todd E; Stevens, Staci R; Baroni, Katie; Van Ness, J Mark; Snell, Christopher R (6 Jan 2011), "Diagnostic accuracy of symptoms characterising chronic fatigue syndrome", Disabil Rehabil, 2011;33 (19-20): 1768-75, doi:10.3109/09638288.2010.546936, PMID 21208154 
  3. Van Ness, J Mark; Stevens, Staci R; Bateman, Lucinda; Stiles, Travis L; Snell, Christopher R (4 Jan 2010), "Post-exertional malaise in women with chronic fatigue syndrome", J Womens Health (Larchmt), 2010 Feb;19 (2): 239-44, doi:10.1089/jwh.2009.1507, PMID 20095909 
  4. Davenport, Todd E; Stevens, Staci R; Van Ness, J Mark; Snell, Christopher R; Little, Tamara (31 Mar 2010), "Conceptual model for physical therapist management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis", Physical Therapy (APTA), 90 (4): 602-614, doi:10.2522/ptj.20090047, PMID 20185614 
  5. Snell, Christopher R; Van Ness, J Mark; Strayer, David R; Stevens, Staci R (2005), "Exercise capacity and immune function in male and female patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)" (PDF), In Vivo, 19: 387-390, PMID 15796202 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Van Ness, J Mark; Snell, Christopher R; Stevens, Staci R (Apr 2014), "A Realistic Approach to Exercise for CFS Patients" (PDF), The CFS Research Review 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Snell, Christopher R; Van Ness, J Mark; Stevens, Staci R (2004), "When Working Out Doesn't Work Out" (PDF), The CFIDS Chronicle 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Stevens, Staci R; Davenport, Todd E (2010), "Functional Outcomes of Anaerobic Rehabilitation in a Patient with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: case report with 1-year follow-up" (PDF), Bulletin of the IACFS/ME, 2010;18 (3): 93-98 
  9. Stevens, Staci R; ME/FM Society of British Columbia (Canada) (24 May 2015), Video: Post-exertional malaise: How to do more with less, Vancouver, BC, Canada 
  10. Van Ness, J Mark (5 Feb 2014), Video: A Realistic Approach to Exercise and Rehabilitation in ME/CFS, Bristol Watershed, UK 
  11. Workwell Foundation (17 Mar 2014), Video: Cardio-Pulmonary Exercise Test (CPET) 
  12. Johnson, Cort (30 Jul 2013), Busted! Exercise Study Finds Energy Production System is Broken in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 


The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history