Disability and Rehabilitation - Assistive Technology vol:2 issue:2 pages:127-132
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to compare peak functional aerobic power (VO2 peak) across four different types of exercise: arm crank ergometry (ACE), functional electrical stimulation (FES) cycling, and two hybrid exercise conditions: FES cycling combined with ACE and FES rowing using a newly developed rowing device (ROWSTIM).
Methods. Five participants (C7 – T12), four male paraplegics with neurologically complete spinal cord injury (SCI), and one male with neurologically incomplete SCI, underwent a progressive maximal peak oxygen exercise test to ascertain peak physical work capacity during arm cranking, FES cycling, FES cycling combined with arm cranking and FES rowing.
Results. Metabolic variables were significantly lower for FES cycling versus ACE, FES cycling combined with ACE and
FES rowing measures (P50.05). However there were no significant differences between ACE, FES cycling combined with ACE and FES rowing.
Conclusions. Preliminary results suggest that the ROWSTIM is as effective an exercise device or training tool for persons with SCI as ACE or combined FES-cycling and ACE, and more effective than FES-cycling. A larger sample size and further technological developments of the ROWSTIM are needed to demonstrate the efficacy of rowing over other hybrid exercise modalities and ACE.