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Subject Recruitment at The Steadward Centre
for Personal & Physical Achievement

FES Rowing for Health! 

Recently a Functional Electrical Stimulation assisted rowing ergometer for people with a Spinal Cord Injury has been developed at The Steadward Centre. In the last years several studies have been done on this device. At this moment a new project is started to examine the effects of a FES-rowing training on the cholesterol levels of persons with a Spinal Cord Injury.

If you are a paraplegic (T1-T12), you can participate in the study. The study involves exercise with FES-Rowing for 12 wks, 3/4 times/wks, 30-40min/day.

What are we going to do? 

After a short period of leg strengthening, participants will begin a Functional Electrical Stimulation assisted rowing program. This is a completely new form of exercise which allows people with a spinal cord injury to work out with their whole body muscle mass. The stimulation of the leg muscles (hamstrings and quadriceps) is triggered by pushing a button on the hand bar, so movement is controlled by the rower. 

You will work out 4 times a week for approximately one hour. The training period will take 12 weeks. At several points in time we will measure your oxygen consumption (9 times in total) and take some blood samples (20 ml, 4 times in total). The oxygen consumption data will be used to determine your exercise intensity. The blood samples will be analysed for cholesterol and triglycerides. 

Before and after the training period a Dual Energy X-ray Absorbtiometry (DEXA) scan will be made to determine body composition (fat mass, fat free mass, bone mineral density). The amount of radiation exposure is minimal. All measurements are safe and performed by experienced researchers. The study has been approved by the Ethics Committee within the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation of the University of Alberta.

Who can take part?

We are looking for persons with a Spinal Cord Injury between T1 and T12 (at least 1 year post injury). You need to be healthy, not suffering from any cardiovascular diseases or diabetes, over 18 years of age and living in the Edmonton area.

What are the benefits for the participants? 

  1. Knowing your percent body fat, fitness level and cholesterol level. 
  2. Familiarity with a new type of exercise opportunity for persons with spinal cord injury. 
  3. An improvement on your fitness. 
  4. General advice on exercise and diet. 
  5. Your participation and discussions with the investigators during the study will contribute to, and enhance your knowledge and understanding of the risk factors for Chronic Heart Diseases and the benefits of exercise for people with spinal cord injury. 
  6. The health-related benefits which may accumulate during 12 weeks of exercise.

If you are interested in being part of our team studying this exciting new exercise system, contact:

Dr. Garry Wheeler
Research Manager, The Steadward Centre
Phone: (780) 492-7158 

Justin Jeon
Research Associate, The Steadward Centre
Phone: (780) 492-8339 or (780) 907-7601

The Steadward Centre is always looking for research subjects for varied and interesting studies.  Please contact Dr. Garry Wheeler (Phone 780-492-7158 or Fax 780-492-7161) for further information.

All materials copyright: The Steadward Centre, 2000-2003.

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W1-67 Van Vliet Centre
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2H9
Telephone: 780-492-3182
Telefax: 780-492-7161