Study: Long term exercise in persons with SCI

Secondary complications related to inactivity are highly prevalent in spinal cord individuals. This long term study shows that exercise can result in improved quality of life and both improvements in physical and psychological function.

The free article can be downloaded from Nature.

The study basically showed that a 9 month exercise program (2 times per week, strength and arm ergometer training) can increase fitness and psychological well being. Participates report less pain, stress, and depression after exercise training. Perceived and overall quality of life also increased.

Here’s the exercise intervention:


arm ergometry for 15-30min, 70% max. heart rate.

Resistance training circuit with pulley machines, and free weights. 2 sets per exercise, 50% 1 rep max to start. Progress to 3 sets after a month. Resistance loads were  increased every 6 weeks.

Exercises were chosen for: forearm/wrist, biceps, back, chest, abdominals, shoulder, triceps, and legs (applicable to some subjects only).