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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2015 September;68(3):473-85

language: English, Italian

Effects of an adapted physical training on functional status, body composition and quality of life in persons with spinal cord injury paraplegia: a pilot study

Cugusi L. 1, 2, Solla P. 2, 3, Serpe R. 1, Pilia K. 2, Pintus V. 2, Madeddu C. 1, 2, Bassareo P. P. 1, Mercuro G. 1, 2

1 Department of Medical Sciences “M. Aresu”, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy;
2 Adapted Physical Activity Master Degree Course, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy;
3 Movement Disorders Center, Institute of Neurology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy


AIM: Several studies have shown that strategies of health promotion, such as fitness programs, may improve quality of life in individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI). However, the effects of specific adapted physical activity (APA) programs is almost unexplored. The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effects of an APA program on body composition, cardiovascular and fitness profile in SCI individuals with paraplegia.
METHODS: Sixteen men with SCI paraplegia were enrolled. We studied the anthropometric, glucidic and lipid profile, body composition, strength and energy expenditure, depression levels and QoL.
RESULTS: A significant reduction in fat mass and lipid profile was observed (P<0.05) with a significant increase in muscle strength and in arm circumference (P<0.05). The total daily energy expenditure and the number of the movements carried out in a typical day were significant increased (P<0.05). With regard to QoL and depression a significant improvement was registered.
CONCLUSION: These findings support the use of APA as an effective strategy for health promotion, probably decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with SCI.

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