Energy expenditure in ball games for wheelchair users

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PURPOSE: Wheelchair sports have become popular in Germany. This is important because of the difficulty experienced by wheelchair-dependent people in maintaining cardiovascular health and fitness by daily activities. Increasing energy expenditure (EE; kcal h(-1)) is one of the most effective ways of decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the EE of individuals with spinal cord injury in ball games for wheelchair-dependent persons.

METHODS: Fourteen tennis players (WT), 10 basketball players (WB) and 12 rugby players (WR) completed a basal metabolism evaluation and a training test to measure respiratory parameters.

RESULTS: In the basal metabolism test EE in WT was 66.8+/-12.8 kcal h(-1), in WB 62.7+/-15.0 kcal h(-1) and in WR 63.5+/-12.9 kcal h(-1). During training EE in WT was 325.8+/-73.0 kcal h(-1), in WB 374.8+/-127.1 kcal h(-1) and in WR 248.5+/-69.4 kcal h(-1). The average EE of the whole group was: 316.4+/-89.6 kcal h(-1) with a corresponding heart rate of 118.5+/-23.1 b.p.m. and a lactate concentration of 2.09+/-0.7 mmol l(-1). Statistical analysis showed significantly lower values of EE, heart rate and oxygen uptake for the WR group in comparison to the other groups.

CONCLUSION: The results indicate that the additional leisure time EE of persons participating in WB and WT is sufficient to maintain fitness. This level of EE is comparable to the recommendations of the ACSM for able-bodied persons, and therefore might be sufficient to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSpinal cord
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)785-790
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2008

ID: 39345


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