Manual Wheelchair Exercise and Calorie Burning

Author: University of Tennessee
Published: 2011/10/29 - Updated: 2021/12/08
Contents: Summary - Main - Related Publications

Synopsis: Article shows that people with disabilities in wheelchairs that they can obtain health enhancing benefits when they exercise moderately or vigorously. A person who uses a manual wheelchair can burn up to 120 calories in half an hour while wheeling at 2 mph on a flat surface. Bassett and Conger reviewed more than 250 studies containing energy expenditure data for wheelchair-related physical activities.

Main Digest

A University of Tennessee study looks at manual wheelchair use, exercise, and calorie burning.

The US Department of Health and Human Sciences recommends that adults with disabilities should get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or seventy-five minutes of vigorous exercise per week. The suggestion is the same for able-bodied people.

A person who uses a manual wheelchair can burn up to 120 calories in half an hour while wheeling at 2 mph on a flat surface, which is three times as much as someone doing the same action in a motorized wheelchair. The same person can expend 127 calories while mopping and as much as 258 calories while fencing in a thirty-minute time-frame if the activities are done in a manual wheelchair.

This is according to a review article written by Professor David R. Bassett Jr. of the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It calculates the calorie costs of various physical activities for people who use manual wheelchairs and summarizes them into a single source a first of its kind.

The article, which Bassett co-authored with former UT graduate student Scott A. Conger, was published this month in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly , a journal issued by Human Kinetics Inc. The review should be helpful to those who want to create physical activity questionnaires and develop recommendations for people with disabilities. It also would show people with disabilities that they can obtain health-enhancing benefits when they exercise moderately or vigorously, Bassett said.

"It might be simply wheeling their chair along while taking their dog for a walk or playing wheelchair basketball," he said. "You can still burn a significant number of calories."

Bassett co-authored another document entitled the "2011 Compendium of Physical Activities" for able-bodied people. The study, which was funded by National Institutes of Health, contains a list of activities that is continually updated and is widely used. But he saw a need to develop a comparable resource for those who use wheelchairs.

Bassett and Conger reviewed more than 250 studies containing energy expenditure data for wheelchair-related physical activities. They identified sixty-three activities, ranging from being sedentary to household chores and transportation to exercise.

Here is a partial list of wheelchair related activities and their caloric burn (performed by 160-pound adult in 30 minutes):

Attribution/Source(s):

This quality-reviewed publication pertaining to our Exercising with Disability section was selected for circulation by the editors of Disabled World due to its likely interest to our disability community readers. Though the content may have been edited for style, clarity, or length, the article "Manual Wheelchair Exercise and Calorie Burning" was originally written by University of Tennessee, and submitted for publishing on 2011/10/29 (Edit Update: 2021/12/08). Should you require further information or clarification, University of Tennessee can be contacted at the utk.edu website. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith.

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Cite This Page (APA): University of Tennessee. (2011, October 29). Manual Wheelchair Exercise and Calorie Burning. Disabled World. Retrieved April 17, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/fitness/exercise/wheelchair-calories.php

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