Over 60 million people worldwide may have Long COVID, according to some estimates (1). For those suffering from Long COVID or other post-viral syndromes, pacing may be a low-stakes way to keep tabs on their wellness.

Pacing is an energy management strategy that was originally developed for those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and other exertion-related syndromes (2). Pacing involves scaling back on mundane tasks — such as grocery shopping, washing dishes, and doing laundry — while still remaining as active as possible within personal limits. Patients are advised to balance rest and activity, in harmony with their energy levels throughout the day. A meta-analysis from 2022 (3) showed that pacing effectively reduced fatigue, reduced psychological distress, reduced depression, and improved physical function in people with CFS. It is now being recommended for patients with Long COVID (4).

Use Owaves to “pace” your week

Owaves has several features that can help you seamlessly integrate pacing into your life:

  1. First, make a list of your weekly activity limits and/or goals. For example: 56 hours of sleep, 4 hours of walking, and 30 hours of work…
  2. Next, create a default Day Plan for every day of the week (i.e. Monday through Sunday) that meets your weekly goals. Save each Day Plan you create.
  3. Every day, populate your O with the corresponding default Day Plan you created. Use the repeat settings to automate per season.
  4. Make adjustments as needed, and track your weekly progress in the “Vitals” section of the app.
  5. Consult a clinician to help provide feedback, especially if your symptoms worsen or do not improve.

Owaves Saved Day Plans menu

Step 2. Saved Day Plans menu

A sample Week View on Owaves app

Step 3. My Clock: Week view    

Owaves Vitals section

Step 4. Vitals: Week view

References:

1. Davis, H.E., McCorkell, L., Vogel, J.M. et al. Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations. Nat Rev Microbiol 21, 133–146 (2023). doi.org/10.1038/s41579-022-00846-2.

2. Goudsmit, Ellen M.; Nijs, Jo; Jason, Leonard A.; Wallman, Karen E. (2012). “Pacing as a strategy to improve energy management in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: a consensus document”. Disability and Rehabilitation34 (13): 1140-1147. doi:10.3109/09638288.2011.635746.

3. Casson, S., Jones, M. D., Cassar, J., Kwai, N., Lloyd, A. R., Barry, B. K., & Sandler, C. X. (2022). The effectiveness of activity pacing interventions for people with chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Disability and rehabilitation, 1–15. Advance online publication. doi-org.ezproxy.hsc.usf.edu/10.1080/09638288.2022.2135776.

4. “Pacing.” Long COVID Physio, 9 June 2023, longcovid.physio/pacing.