Energy cost of lower body dressing, pop-over transfers, and manual wheelchair propulsion in people with paraplegia due to motor-complete spinal cord injury

Meaghan M. Lynch*, Zachary McCormick, Brian Liem, Geneva Jacobs, Peter Hwang, Thomas George Hornby, Leslie Rydberg, Elliot J. Roth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Energy required for able-bodied individuals to perform common activities is well documented, whereas energy associated with daily activities among people with spinal cord injury (SCI) is less understood. Objective: To determine energy expended during several basic physical tasks specific to individuals with paraplegia due to motor-complete SCI. Methods: Sixteen adults with motor-complete SCI below T2 level and duration of paraplegia greater than 3 months were included. Oxygen consumption (Vo2), caloric expenditure, and heart rate were measured at rest and while participants performed lower body dressing (LBD), pop-over transfers (POTs), and manual wheelchair propulsion (MWP) at a self-selected pace. These data were used to calculate energy expenditure in standard metabolic equivalents (METs), as defined by 1 MET = 3.5 mL O2/kg/min, and in SCI METs using the conversion 1 SCI MET = 2.7 mL O2/kg/min. Results: Vo2 at rest was 3.0 ± 0.9 mL O2/kg/min, which equated to 0.9 ± 0.3 standard METs and 1.1 ± 0.4 SCI METs in energy expenditure. LBD required 3.2 ± 0.7 METs and 4.1 ± 0.9 SCI METs; POTs required 3.4 ± 1.0 METs and 4.5 ± 1.3 SCI METs; and MWP required 2.4 ± 0.6 METs and 3.1 ± 0.7 SCI METs. Conclusion: Resting Vo2 for adults with motor-complete paraplegia is 3.0 mL O2/kg/min, which is lower than standard resting Vo2 in able-bodied individuals. Progressively more energy is required to perform MWP, LBD, and POTs, respectively. Use of the standard METs formula may underestimate the level of intensity an individual with SCI uses to perform physical activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalTopics in spinal cord injury rehabilitation
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Keywords

  • activities of daily living
  • metabolic equivalent
  • oxygen consumption
  • paraplegia
  • spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology

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