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Check out the scientific exercise guidelines for adults with SCI translated into 6 languages!

Wednesday March 6, 2019

People with SCI face tremendous physical, psychosocial, and environmental barriers to physical activity; they are less active and physically deconditioned than the general population and people with other disabilities. Overwhelming evidence suggests that people living with SCI can achieve health benefits from activity levels well below the generally recommended 150 min/week threshold.

A group led by Dr. Kathleeen Martin Ginis at the University of British Columbia and Dr. Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey at Loughborough University, UK led a team that reviewed relevant literature and held consensus meetings to develop international guidelines on physical activity after SCI. 

These guidelines are most appropriate for adults aged 18-64 with chronic SCI (at least 1 year post-onset, neurological level C3 or below), from traumatic or non-traumatic causes, including tetraplegia and paraplegia.

The Physical Activity Guidelines after SCI are as follows:

The fitness guidelines for adults with SCI describing how much exercise they should engage in for cardiorespiratory, strength, and cardiometabolic benefits

The exercise guidelines for adults with SCI. Click the image to see the whole guideline infosheet in English.

  • For cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength benefits, adults with SCI should engage in:
    • Engage in at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise 2 times per week
    • 3 sets of strength exercises for each major functioning muscle group, at a moderate to vigorous intensity, 2 times per week.
  • For cardiometabolic health benefits, adults with SCI are suggested to engage in:
    • At least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise 3 times per week.

These guidelines represent an important step toward developing exercise policies and programs for people with SCI around the world. They have also been translated into 6 different languages including English. They are available for download here:

If you want more information, you can read the original paper here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41393-017-0017-3