Energy expenditure in wheelchair racing and handbiking - a basis for prevention of cardiovascular diseases in those with disabilities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Research units


OBJECTIVE Handbiking and wheelchair racing have gained increased popularity in Germany. This is important because of the inability of wheelchair-dependent people to maintain cardiovascular health and fitness through daily activities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the energy expenditure (EE; kcal/h) of wheelchair-dependent individuals. METHODS Ten wheelchair racers (WR) and 17 handbikers (HB) completed a basal metabolism evaluation, an incremental exercise test until exhaustion and an endurance test. Oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide production ([V(. -)]O(2), [V(. -)]CO(2); ml/min), arterialized capillary blood lactate concentration (LA; mmol/l) and heart rate (HR; bpm) were recorded during each test. EE was calculated by indirect calorimetry. RESULTS In the endurance test [V(. -)]O(2), [V(. -)]CO(2), LA, HR and EE at an intensity corresponding to 2 mmol/l lactate were: HB: 1332+/-368 ml/min, 1178+/-303 ml/min, 2.23+/-0.85 mmol/l, 116.8+/-19.1 bpm, 389.6+/-105.4 kcal/h; WR:1175+/-285 ml/min, 1145+/-258 ml/min, 2.65+/-0.36 mmol/l, 142.5+/-28.0 bpm, 341.7+/-84.0 kcal/h. At an intensity corresponding to 4 mmol/l lactate the values were: HB: 1792+/-408 ml/min, 1666+/-326 ml/min, 4.27+/-1.40 mmol/l 146.1+/-22.8 bpm, 530.1+/- 115.4 kcal/h; WR: 1505+/-210 ml/min, 1427+/-188 ml/min, 3.31+/-1.0 mmol/l, 165.3+/-22.7 bpm, 445.5+/-70.8 kcal/h. CONCLUSION The results show that EE of HB and WR is high enough to maintain fitness and probably to help to prevent cardiovascular diseases even at a moderate intensity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation : official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2003

ID: 234967

View graph of relations