This study aims to determine whether body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) has beneficial effects, over and above arm-cycle ergometry training (ACET) on indicators of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in individuals with severe spinal cord injury (SCI).
After SCI, the primary cause of illness and death is CVD. Currently, preventative measures focus around increasing physical activity- especially through the use of ACET. However, ACET's capacity to improve cardiovascular health is questionable. Research has demonstrated that BWSTT, an alternative form of exercise, may be capable of improving cardiovascular health in individuals with SCI.
The studies primary outcome measure is aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV) which has been shown to have prognostic value for CVD above and beyond that of other risk factors. It is hypothesised that through large muscle mass involvement and postural challenge, the physical stimuli of BWSTT will reduce aPWV and lower CVD risk in individuals with SCI.
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