Wheelchair-modified ergometer rowing exercise in individuals with spinal cord injury: a feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy study

Rasmus Kopp Hansen*, Johanna L J de Wit, Afshin Samani, Uffe Laessoe, Krystian Figlewski, Ryan Godsk Larsen


Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

1 Citationer (Scopus)
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STUDY DESIGN: Exploratory clinical investigation.

OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of upper-body rowing exercise adapted to wheelchair users with spinal cord injury (SCI).

SETTING: University exercise laboratory.

METHODS: Eight individuals with SCI exercised on a rowing ergometer modified for wheelchair users (REMW), three times weekly, for up to 30 min per session. Participants completed feasibility and acceptability questionnaire (1-5 Likert scale), and the Wheelchair Users Shoulder Pain Index (WUSPI) before and after six weeks of exercise. Average power output (POAVG), distance rowed, percent peak heart rate (%HRpeak), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) (6-20 scale) were monitored throughout the 18 exercise sessions and analyzed to evaluate preliminary efficacy of the exercise modality.

RESULTS: All eight participants completed the study (97% adherence). Participants rated the exercise high on the feasibility and acceptability scale; median (interquartile range) = 5.0 (4.0-5.0), where higher numbers indicated greater feasibility. Shoulder pain was reduced by 21% yet not significantly different from baseline (p = 0.899). Physiological measures (%HRpeak = 80-83%; RPE = 15.0-16.0) indicated a high cardiovascular training load. From week 1 to week 6, POAVG and distance rowed increased by 37 and 36%, respectively (both p ≤ 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Data from six weeks of exercise on the REMW suggests that upper-body rowing is a feasible and acceptable exercise modality for wheelchair users with SCI. Session data on %HRpeak, RPE, and shoulder pain indicate that REMW evoked moderate to vigorous intensity exercise without exacerbation of shoulder pain. Future research is required to quantify potential training-induced changes in cardiorespiratory fitness.

TidsskriftSpinal Cord Series and Cases
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 30 apr. 2022

Bibliografisk note

© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to International Spinal Cord Society.


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