Regular physical activity undoubtedly benefits our health. However, many of us lack enough physical exercise or do this without scientific guidelines. In the study “Leisure-Time Physical Activity in People with Spinal Cord Injury — Predictors of Exercise Guideline Adherence”, we will get some valuable information about leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) status for people with SCI in Australia.

The study was conducted by Paul K. Watson, Dr. Camila Quel de Oliveira, Professor Glen M. Davis, and six other authors. Watson is currently a PhD student at the University of Sydney, supervised by Dr. Quel de Oliveira, who is a NeuroMoves Clinical Advisor, and Professor Davis, a member of the SCIA Board and Chair of its Clinical Governance and Research Committee. This is a brief overview of the study’s key points. For a complete understanding, kindly refer to the full article.

Paul K. Watson, Mohit Arora, James W. Middleton, Camila Quel de Oliveira, Robert Heard, Andrew Nunn, Timothy Geraghty, Ruth Marshall and Glen M. Davis

International Journal of Public Health, 12 December 2022. doi: 10.3389/ijph.2022.1605235

In 2018, the most extensive spinal cord injury (SCI) specific international survey was undertaken worldwide. This survey, called the International Spinal Cord Injury Community Survey (InSCI), collected data on the many facets of life in people with spinal cord injuries. Australia was one of the many participating nations. The InSCI survey provided valuable information on the amount and type of physical activity people with SCI in Australia do in their daily lives. In addition, this study examined whether Australians were meeting the amount and type of physical activity recommended by the SCI-specific Physical Activity Guidelines to live a healthier life. It also investigated if characteristics such as gender, age, income, education, how individuals rate their energy level, their quality of life etc., were associated with the volume of activity people with SCI undertake.

Leisure-Time Physical Activity in People with Spinal Cord Injury — Predictors of Exercise Guideline Adherence

The results showed that roughly 42% of all Australians with SCI don’t physically exercise for their health. And of all Australians with SCI, only about 13% met SCI-specific physical activity guidelines ( (Figure 1, right*). Data showed that males, individuals aged 18-30 and people who have suffered a traumatic (i.e., by accidents such as driving collisions or sports activities) are more likely to undertake physical activity and perform a significantly greater amount of it. Characteristics such as income, education and how individuals rate their health only have a small impact on whether someone will do any physical activity and the volume of it.

This data provides clinicians and health policy makers with valuable information on the ‘likely’ physical activity behaviour of individuals with SCI. It is more likely that males, younger people, and those who sustained their injury traumatically will commit to greater amounts of exercise and do an increased frequency and duration of physical activity. Clinicians and exercise trainers should give extra effort and encouragement to older individuals, females, and those who attained their SCI via a disease or disorder, as these people may commit less to their physical activity programs and goals. Also, all people with SCI should strive to adhere to the SCI-specific physical activity levels to maximise their health and prevent the myriad of lifestyle diseases that significantly impact this population. It’s a big concern that 42% of Australians with SCI do not do any physical activity, and only 13% do enough. Knowing this, clinicians should strive to incorporate the recommended amounts of moderate or vigorous intensity physical activity to ensure people with SCI are all ‘physically active.’ Furthermore, health policy makers can use this information to design and support programs in the community to decrease the barriers to access to physical activity and to promote better health for people with SCI.

— Paul Watson, Dr Camila Quel de Oliveira and Professor Glen M Davis | The University of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney

Reproduced from International Journal of Public Health, 12 December 2022. doi: 10.3389/ijph.2022.1605235

In addition, SCIA’s NeuroMoves is our innovative, holistic, evidence-based exercise and therapy service for people with a neurological condition or physical disability. The program uses scientific exercise and movement to improve all parts of the body. If interested, please read this article showcasing several real NeuroMoves experiences.

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