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Disabil Rehabil. 2017 Aug;39(16):1581-1588. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2016.1200677. Epub 2016 Jul 6.

Effects of four-month handbike training under free-living conditions on physical fitness and health in wheelchair users.

Author information

1
a Center for Human Movement Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen , Groningen , The Netherlands.
2
b Heliomare Rehabilitation Centre , Wijk Aan Zee , The Netherlands.
3
c Center for Rehabilitation, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen , Groningen , The Netherlands.
4
d Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Recognizing the encouraging effect of challenging events, the HandbikeBattle (HBB) was created to promote exercise among wheelchair users. The purpose of this study was to reveal the effects on physical fitness and health outcomes of four-month handbike training under free-living conditions in preparation for the event.

METHODS:

In this prospective cohort study, 59 relatively inexperienced handyclists participated in the HBB of 2013 or 2014. Incremental exercise tests were conducted, respiratory function was tested and anthropometrics were measured before and after the preparation period. Main outcome measures were peak power output (POpeak), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and waist circumference, of which the changes were tested using repeated measures ANOVA. To detect possible determinants of changes in physical fitness, a linear regression analysis was conducted with personal characteristics, executed training volume and upper-extremity complaints during the training period as independent variables.

RESULTS:

POpeak, VO2peak and waist circumference improved significantly with 17%, 7% and 4.1%, respectively. None of the included variables were significant determinants for the changes in POpeak found as a result of the training.

CONCLUSION:

A challenging event such as the HBB provokes training regimes among participants of sufficient load to realize substantial improvements in physical fitness and health outcomes. Implications for Rehabilitation Due to the often impaired muscle function in the lower-limbs and an inactive lifestyle, wheelchair users generally show considerably lower levels of fitness compared to able-bodied individuals. This prospective cohort study showed that four months of handbike training under free-living conditions in preparation for this event resulted in substantial improvements in physical fitness and health outcomes in wheelchair users. The creation of a challenging event such as the HandbikeBattle as part of a follow-up rehabilitation practice can therefore be a useful tool to help wheelchair users initiate or keep training to improve their physical fitness and health.

KEYWORDS:

Handcycling; physical fitness; training; wheelchair users

PMID:
27385560
DOI:
10.1080/09638288.2016.1200677
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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