Feasibility of an Exercise Program for Adults with Cerebral Palsy: A Pilot Study

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Kenneth H. Pitetti The Wichita State University

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Jeffrey E. Fernandez The Wichita State University

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Monique C. Lanciault The Wichita State University

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This study investigated the effectiveness of a training program for cerebral palsy (CP) adults engaged in full-time employment (8 hrs/day) that would improve their functional capacity. Seven ambulatory CP adults (5 men, 2 women, age 30.5 + 8 yrs) trained on a Schwinn Air-Dyne ergometer (SAE) twice a week for 30 minutes at 40-70% of peak VO2 for 8 weeks. Pre- and posttraining exercise tests were performed on the SAE and an arm crank ergometer. Following training, significant increases (p<0.05) in peak VO2 and peak ventilation (VE) were seen, with no significant increases in peak heart rate (HR) or respiratory quotient (RQ) on the SAE. No significant increases in peak VO2, HR, VE, or RQ were seen when exercised on the arm crank ergometer following training. The results indicate that the training protocol used in this study allowed ambulatory CP adults to exercise consistently and safely while demonstrating improvements in functional capacity. Although the mode of exercise involved the arms, the training program did not improve the exercise capacity of the upper body, as evaluated by arm crank ergometry.

Request reprints from Kenneth H. Pitetti, Department of Health, Administration, and Gerontology, College of Health Professions, The Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 67208-1595.

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