Response to Exercise in Paraplegics and Able Bodied Subjects: A New Formula to Estimate the Theoretical Oxygen Uptake

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Purpose:

To compare the response to physical exercise between subjects with spinal cord injury (SCI) and able-bodied (AB) subjects with the objective of developing a new formula for the indirect calculation of oxygen consumption (VO2).

Subjects:

20 individuals with paraplegia below Th6 and 22 AB subjects have participated in the study.

Measures:

A graded work test was performed on an arm ergometer, starting with 10 w and increasing the power in 10 w each minute up to maximal effort. SCI group present a lower response to the different workloads with respect to the AB group.

Results:

In the SCI group, a statistical association was found between workload and VO2 (r = 0.956, P < 0.001). The proposed equation to calculate the theoretical VO2 was the following: 0.487 + (0.013 · watts performed).

Conclusions:

SCI males, respect to AB subjects, show differences in ventilatory response to exercises. We propose a new formula for the indirect calculation of VO2 in relation to workload.

The authors are with the Guttmann Institute, Neurorehabilitation Hospital, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. E-mail: jvidal@guttmann.com