Background. Reduced physical activity is an important consequence of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, little is known about the real quantity and type of daily activities that people with MS perform in their own home environment. Objective. To gain insight into differences in the amount and patterns of physical activities performed over a 24-hour period in the own community environment of patients with MS and healthy individuals. Methods. A total of 43 ambulatory patients with MS and 26 age- and gender-matched healthy individuals participated. Physical activity recorded with an ambulatory activity monitor was classified into postures and motions. Multilevel analyses were conducted to investigate whether the pattern of physical activities across daily periods (morning, afternoon, and evening) was dependent on the group (MS vs healthy individuals). Results. Results showed a significant overall lower amount of dynamic activity as compared with a group of healthy controls (P < .001). Patients with MS started with lower physical activity levels already in the morning (P < .001), and this difference persisted in the afternoon (P = .002) and evening (P = .032). Conclusion. Activity monitoring gives insight into real-world daily physical behavior. Our findings suggest that patients with MS may adopt a deliberate anticipatory strategy of lower activity in the morning, which persists throughout the day. Future trials evaluating daily changes in physical activity behavior should simultaneously sample self-report measures of energy levels and fatigue to elucidate the complex interaction between symptoms and physical activity. © The Author(s) 2014.