UBC Okanagan Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis chats about physical activity with tennis player and UBC student Rob Shaw.
International, systematic project reveals recommended dose of weekly exercise
For decades, the main message to keep the general population healthy was for everyone to get active.
In fact, the World Health Organization laid out specific guidelines (150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise each week) on how much physical activity was required for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, UBC Okanagan researcher Kathleen Martin Ginis says while the recommendations were well-meaning, a particular group of people was excluded.
“These guidelines were never specifically tailored for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI),” says Martin Ginis. “Not only were people with SCI essentially excluded from the systematic review that came up with these specific physical activity guidelines, but the potential risks to the SCI population—including upper body over-use, skin breakdown, autonomic dysreflexia (sudden high blood pressure), and overheating—were not considered.”
Now, an international committee, led by Martin Ginis, has come up with exercise recommendations for the SCI population that will be presented at the International Spinal Cord Society Annual Scientific Meeting in Dublin, Ireland this week.
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