Leisure time physical activity in a population-based sample of people with spinal cord injury part II: activity types, intensities, and durations

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010 May;91(5):729-33. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2009.12.028.


Objective: To describe the types, intensities, and average duration of leisure time physical activities (LTPAs) performed by people with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI).

Design: Cross-sectional telephone survey.

Setting: General community.

Participants: Men and women with SCI (N=347) who reported engaging in LTPA over the previous 3 days.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Mean minutes a day of LTPA performed at mild, moderate, and heavy intensities; proportion of respondents performing specific types of LTPA.

Results: Participants reported a mean +/- SD of 55.15+/-59.05min/d of LTPA at a mild intensity or greater. Median LTPA was 33.33min/d. More activity was done at a moderate intensity (mean +/- SD, 25.49+/-42.11min/d) than mild (mean +/- SD, 19.14+/-37.77min/d) or heavy intensities (mean +/- SD, 10.52+/-22.17min/d). Most participants reported mild (54%) or moderate intensity LTPA (68%), while a minority reported heavy intensity LTPA (43%). The 3 most frequently reported types of LTPA were resistance training (33%), aerobic exercise (25%), and wheeling (24%). Craftsmanship (mean +/- SD, 83.79+/-96.00min/d) and sports activities (mean +/- SD, 60.86+/-59.76 min/d) were performed for the longest durations.

Conclusions: There is considerable variability in daily LTPA among active people with SCI and variability across different types of LTPA in terms of typical durations and intensities. This information can be used to help people with chronic SCI become more active by highlighting activities that meet individual abilities, needs, and desires.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / physiopathology
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Time Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices