1. Butler, Jolene A. MS

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It is estimated that nearly 230,000 Americans are coping with a spinal cord injury (SCI). SCI presents significant health risks secondary to reduced motivation for and challenges to engaging in health-promoting physical activity. Consequently, a sedentary lifestyle is a foremost health risk for countless numbers of individuals who sustain a SCI.



The purpose of this study was to quantify physical activity in people with a spinal cord injury using accelerometry.



Fourteen male subjects with a SCI participated in the study. Nine subjects had an upper level injury (mean age = 46.6 +/- 15.9 yr) and five subjects had a lower level injury (mean age = 60.0 +/- 16.8). Seven subjects were Caucasian, six were African American and one was Hispanic. The average months since injury were 209.4 +/- 83.8. Subjects wore the Actical accelerometer on their dominant wrist for seven days. Additionally, they completed pre and post accelerometer Physical Activity Inventory questionnaires.



Activity levels measured with the Actical follow. Subjects with upper level injuries spent more time in sedentary activities than subjects with lower level injuries.

Table 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowTable 1. Activity Level Measured with the Actical


Subjects tested spent more time in sedentary activities than all others. Additionally, persons with lower level spinal cord injuries were more active than persons with lower level spinal cord injuries.