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New European website on exercise guidelines for people with a spinal cord injury

A new website highlighting exercise guidelines for people with a spinal cord injury (SCI) has been launched by Loughborough academics in association with European partners.

People with a disability are twice as likely to be physically inactive as able-bodied people, therefore understanding the amount and type of activity they need to do to benefit their health is important. The scientific guidelines were developed in 2017 by an international group of 29 researchers, clinicians, community organisations and people with spinal cord injury.

It is recommended that to improve fitness, adults with SCI should engage in at least 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise two times a week and three sets of moderate strengthening exercise for each major functional muscle groups two times per week. To improve cardiometabolic health, it is suggested they engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise, three times per week.

Following on from the launch of the exercise guidelines in 2017 the new website has resources in six European languages to aid in disseminating the information across Europe.

The guidelines have been translated into five languages, as well as English, to make them accessible to as many people across Europe as possible. They are available in English, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Swedish.

As well as clear and concise information on the guidelines themselves, an infographic is also available in each language which outlines the process behind the development of the guidelines.

Videos can be viewed highlighting what the guidelines are and why they are important in a number of languages. These also include animations which make the guidelines message easily accessible.

Each page contains a local contact for people in their area to get in touch with if they have any questions about the guidelines or would like to know more about dissemination in their country. There is also a related resources section signposting towards resources in each country that users may also find helpful.

Professor Vicky Tolfrey, Director of the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport and one of the academics leading on the project said: “The new website has been a real team effort, working with colleagues from across Europe. Hopefully this new site will help to disseminate the information about the guidelines around Europe and help people to understand the amount and type of activity people with a spinal cord injury are recommended to do.”

The process was led by Professor Vicky Tolfrey (Loughborough University, UK) and Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis (University of British Columbia, Canada).

For more information visit