Maximal response of wheelchair-confined subjects to four types of arm exercise

K. H. Pitetti, P. G. Snell, J. Stray-Gundersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Maximal work capacity and aerobic fitness of wheelchair-confined subjects generally have been determined by one of three modes of exercise: wheelchair ergometry, wheelchair exercise on a treadmill (TM), and arm crank ergometry. In the present study, two new types of arm ergometers, the Cybex Upper Body Exercise ergometer (CUBE) and the Schwinn Air-Dyne ergometer (SAE), have been evaluated and compared with older methods for determining aerobic capacities of wheelchair-confined subjects. Seven persons with paraplegia with lesions ranging from T-3 to L-1 and one bilateral amputee each performed four exercise tests to volitional exhaustion, on separate days, utilizing four modes of exercise. These included wheelchair exercise on a treadmill and arm exercise using a Monark arm ergometer (MAE), a CUBE, or an SAE. Peak values for oxygen consumption, heart rate, and blood lactate were similar during each type of exercise. Significant (p < 0.05) differences were observed only in the peak values for minute ventilation (CUBE > MAE, SAE > MAE). The similarity of the maximal responses observed in this study indicates that the CUBE and SAE are comparable to TM exercise and to the MAE in assessing the aerobic capacity of wheelchair-confined subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-13
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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