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Rethinking aerobic exercise intensity prescription in adults with spinal cord injury: time to end the use of “moderate to vigorous” intensity?

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posted on 2022-07-01, 14:22 authored by Michael Hutchinson, Vicky Goosey-TolfreyVicky Goosey-Tolfrey
Study design: Cohort study.
Objectives: To investigate and critique different methods for aerobic exercise intensity prescription in adults with spinal cord injury (SCI).
Setting: University laboratory in Loughborough, UK.
Methods: Trained athletes were split into those with paraplegia (PARA; n = 47), tetraplegia (TETRA; n = 20) or alternate health condition (NON-SCI; n = 67). Participants completed a submaximal step test with 3 min stages, followed by graded exercise test to exhaustion. Handcycling, arm crank ergometry or wheelchair propulsion were performed depending on the sport of the participant. Oxygen uptake (V̇ O2), heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration ([BLa]) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) on Borg’s RPE scale were measured throughout. Lactate thresholds were identified according to log-V̇ O2 plotted against log-[BLa] (LT1) and 1.5 mmol·L-1 greater than LT1 (LT2). These were used to demarcate moderate (1), heavy (>LT1, 2) and severe (>LT2) exercise intensity domains
Results: Associations between percentage of peak V̇O2 (%V̇O2peak) and HR (%HRpeak) with RPE differed between PARA and TETRA. At LT1 and LT2, %V̇O2peak and %HRpeak were significantly greater in TETRA compared to PARA and NON-SCI (P< 0.05). The variation in %V̇ O2peak and %HRpeak at lactate thresholds resulted in large variability in the domain distribution at fixed %V̇ O2peak and %HRpeak.
Conclusions: Fixed %V̇ O2peak and %HRpeak should not be used for aerobic exercise intensity prescription in adults with SCI as the method does not lead to uniform exercise intensity domain distribution.

Funding

Peter Harrison Foundation

History

School

  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Spinal Cord

Volume

60

Issue

6

Pages

484 - 490

Publisher

Springer Nature

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

2021-11-23

Publication date

2021-12-08

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1362-4393

eISSN

1476-5624

Language

  • en

Depositor

Prof Vicky Tolfrey. Deposit date: 19 November 2021

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