Engaging in physical activity has been shown to be an important benefit for people with haemophilia, as it improves proprioception and strength of joint-stabilising muscles, reducing the risk of joint bleeds, as well as improving social well-being.

But can exercise increase even Factor VIII levels?

The increased coagulation capacity is thought to depend primarily on the increase in Factor VIII and von Willebrand factor (VWF), although some studies have reported increases in other coagulation factors as well.

There is some evidence, albeit conflicting, that global function of the coagulation system increases during exercise in healthy subjects, but a systematic evaluation in persons with haemophilia has not yet been conducted.

However, studies have shown that exercise increases Factor VIII levels in healthy people and in patients with mild and moderate haemophilia A. The level of increase in Factor VIII varies depending on the exercise protocol. For example, levels increase by approximately 30-35% in healthy untrained subjects after submaximal exercise testing.

However, this increase has not been demonstrated in patients with severe haemophilia A.

Analysis of specific coagulation factors confirmed that Factor VIII increases in healthy subjects but remains unchanged in patients, whereas both have increased levels of von Willebrand factor after exercise.



  • Ljungkvist MK, Olofsson HE, Funding E, Berntorp E, Zetterberg E. Coagulation factor VIII is vital for increasing global coagulation after physical exercise. Haemophilia. 2019;00:1–8. hae.13652
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Learn more about the meaning of the words you read on this page and learn about the entire glossary on hemophilia.

Phase of haemostasis during which the clot forms.

It is a complex process constituted by a number of biochemical reactions that follow one another according to a specific sequence and that involve a number of proteins, including clotting factors, thrombin and fibrinogen.

A solid mass constituted by a clump of platelets held together by a mesh constituted by a protein called fibrin.

The function of the clot is to plug the opening that forms in the wall of a damaged blood vessel, in order to prevent blood loss.

Once the damage has been repaired, the clot is dissolved by specific mechanisms triggered by our body.

A group of proteins with enzymatic functions involved in the clotting process.

All clotting factors are assigned a Roman numeral, although each one also has a proper name.

Some are produced by the liver, whereas others are synthesised by the endothelial cells that make up the inner lining of the blood vessels.

A protein belonging to the clotting factor category, a group of enzymes involved in the blood-clotting process.

It is encoded by a gene on the long arm of the X chromosome.

Factor VIII is also known as anti-haemophilic factor (AHF).

Product containing a high concentration of freeze-dried factor VIII, used for replacement therapy in the treatment of haemophilia A.

A ereditary genetic illness, characterised by a deficiency of clotting factor VIII, that exposes the individual to a greater risk of both internal and external bleeds.

Haemophilia A is more common in males, whereas females tend to be healthy carriers of the condition.

The typical symptoms of the condition include haemarthroses (joint bleeds) and haematomas (muscle bleeds).

Damage that occurs in the joints and prevents their normal function, thereby impairing the individual’s ability to move normally. In haemophiliac patients, joint disease is usually the consequence of recurrent haemarthroses.

Condition that occurs when factor VIII activity is between 1% and 5%.

Condition that occurs when factor VIII activity is between 1% and 5%.

Condition that occurs when factor VIII activity is <1%.

The clotting factor that acts as a cofactor of factor VIII, with which it binds to form the factor VIII-Von Willebrand factor complex.