Our study aimed to compare the energetic and physiologic impact of rowing on the adapted rower with using a standard arm crank in people with spinal cord injury or disease. Participants were asked to exercise at matched low and moderate intensities on both the adapted rower and the arm crank while we monitored rate of oxygen consumption (VO2). Participants were also asked to complete the Borg 0-10 Rating Scale of Perceived Exertion (RPE), and later that day, complete the System Usability Scale (SUS), and a short interview about their perceptions of the exercise.
Fourteen adults with SCI/D (age range 21-63 yr), participated.
- Statistically significant differences were found between the adapted rower and the arm crank for both VO2 (p < .001) and RPE (p < .001).
- There was no significant difference between SUS individual and groups scores for the adapted rower and the arm crank
- 13 participants stated the adapted rower was better for cardiovascular exercise compared to the arm crank.
- 13 participants foresaw a positive impact from increased accessible cardio equipment, including increased opportunity for effective cardio exercise, greater socialization, and increased exercise frequency.
The adapted rower can be used to achieve as effective an exercise as an arm crank for people with SCI/D, while also engaging the functionally crucial muscles of the back, posterior shoulder, and trunk. The adapted rower may help mitigate the existing barrier of lack of accessible cardio equipment for wheelchair users, by providing an effective and available exercise option in standard community gyms.
See our poster for more details. And watch for our upcoming publication.
Effect of exercise modality and exercise intensity on relative VO2 and RPE. Dark circles represent arm crank. Grey boxes represent rowing. * P < 0.001 between modalities and intensities.