Lifestyle physical activity for individuals with spinal cord injury: a pilot study

Am J Health Promot. Mar-Apr 2004;18(4):288-91. doi: 10.4278/0890-1171-18.4.288.


Purpose: To evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a lifestyle physical activity program for people with spinal cord injury (SCI).

Methods: Sixteen nonexercising adult volunteers with SCI participated in a single group pre-post-test of the "Be Active in Life Program" comprising stage-matched educational materials, home visit by a nurse, construction of a personal plan to increase activity, and four follow-up phone calls. Program acceptability, stage of change, barriers to health-promoting activities, abilities for health practices, health, depression, and muscle strength were rated. Physical activity was monitored using actigraphy and a self-report record.

Results: Participants rated the program positively, although some preferred a structured exercise approach. Eighty-one percent of participants progressed in stage of change and 60% increased physical activity. There were significant changes in motivational barriers, exercise self-efficacy, self-rated health, and muscle strength.

Discussion: Lifestyle physical activity is feasible and acceptable and could be effective in promoting greater physical activity among people with SCI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Exercise*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Washington