Background: Ischaemic heart disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide. Physical activity of at least moderate intensity appears to improve outcome of coronary artery disease via different cellular mechanisms. For these reason it appears mandatory that patients are informed about the importance of exercise in the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease. We therefore studied the amount of physical activity of patients with coronary artery disease before and 3 months after hospitalisation for cardiac catheterisation considering (1.) the degree of information about the role of physical activity in the management of their disease, (2.) the general health status before and after cardiac catheterisation, and (3.) the participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program after hospitalisation. Methods: We analysed 126 patients with coronary artery disease who underwent cardiac catheterisation at the University Hospital of Zurich. We collected information about their general health status and their physical activity before and after the intervention. The amount of physical activity for each patient was classified in one of five categories. Results: About 95% of the patients were informed about the importance of exercise for cardiovascular health. Three months after hospitalisation, most of the patients assessed their health status as good or satisfying and their feeling of energy increased compared to before the intervention. However, in the entire population, most of the patients did not follow the minimal recommendation for health enhancing physical activity and the amount of physical activity was not different before and after the hospitalisation. On the other hand, patients who underwent cardiac rehabilitation were much more active than those who did not. Conclusions: Even though most of the patients are aware of the importance of regular exercise in the secondary prevention of coronary artery disease, and for their health status, only a few of them comply with the recommendation to perform regular physical exercise. New strategies to increase the number of physically active patients should be developed in the future to improve the outcome in patients with documented coronary artery disease, especially considering the effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation for that purpose.