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Energy Costs of Physical Activities for Wheelchair Users: A Systematic Review: 2266Board #143 June 2 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Conger, Scott A.; Bassett, David R. Jr. FACSM

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 603
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000401666.76779.2d
D-31 Free Communication/Poster - Measuring Activity Intensity: JUNE 2, 2011 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM: ROOM: Hall B

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN.


(No relationships reported)

Several physical activity compendiums have been developed for able-bodied adults. However, these compendiums have tended to omit the energy costs of wheelchair activities.

PURPOSE: Utilizing a systematic review of the literature, this investigation sought to review the published energy costs of activities performed by wheelchair users for the development of a compendium of wheelchair-related physical activities.

METHODS: PubMed, SportDiscus, and ProQuest databases were searched using the key words: wheelchair, disability, energy expenditure, physical activity, and VO2. A total of 266 studies were identified by the initial search terms. Inclusion criteria were studies utilizing individuals who routinely use a manual wheelchair, indirect calorimetry as the criterion measurement, energy expenditure expressed as METs or VO2, and physical activities typical of wheelchair users (such as vacuuming, table tennis, wheeling on tile floor, arm ergometer exercise, etc.). Studies that allowed less than three minutes to attain a metabolic steady-state were excluded.

RESULTS: Eleven studies met the inclusion criteria. These studies included a total of 365 individuals with a majority of the participants having a spinal cord injury at levels of C5 or below. A total of 63 different wheelchair activities were identified with energy expenditure values ranging from 0.8 (rest) to 12.5 (handcycling at a maximal effort) kcal·kg-1·hr-1.

CONCLUSIONS: The energy requirements for various activities of wheelchair users often differ between wheelchair users and able-bodied adults primarily due to a smaller amount of muscle mass that is used during wheelchair activities. This review compiled and summarized a compendium of physical activities for wheelchair users into a single source.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine