Recently a FES (functional electrical stimulation)-assisted rowing machine was developed to enhance cardiovascular training in people with spinal cord injuries. The machine was assessed in terms of its efficacy as a training tool. Six patients who were quadriplegic (C6-T1) and 2 who were paraplegic (T3-6) completed a series of three tests in succession: (1) leg stimulation only (quadriceps and hamstring groups)--'Stim', (2) arm row only--'Row' and (3) simultaneous row and stimulation--'R & S'. Measurements recorded included oxygen uptake (VO2), minute ventilation (Ve), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP). In addition, 6 out of the 8 subjects took part in a qualitative assessment comprising a guided interview exploring the subject's perception of the machine and test. Significant increases in VO2 were demonstrated between the three tests with R & S producing mean steady-state values of 16.34 nm (+/- 0.74) ml/kg/min (83% of maximum). These values represented a 12% increase over Row alone. Of interest was the qualitative assessment which revealed that subjects perceived R & S to be easier than Row despite the higher levels of VO2 observed. The results suggest that the rowing machine represents a potentially valuable hybrid training device that may significantly reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and improve the quality of life of people with SCI.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993LR02900009
View details for PubMedID 8414639