The effect of exercise training on pulmonary function in persons with quadriplegia

L. Crane, K. Klerk, A. Ruhl, P. Warner, C. Ruhl, K. E. Roach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study is to determine if measures of pulmonary function are different between endurance trained and nontrained groups of persons with quadriplegia. After minimum criteria were met, 57 subjects with spinal cord injuries ranging from C5-T1 were surveyed to determine type, duration and intensity of exercise training for the previous 6 months. Subjects were assigned to the trained or untrained groups based on the operational definitions of 'trained' vs 'untrained'. A computerized spirometer was used to test forced vital capacity (FVC), forced mid-expiratory flow (FEF(25-75%)) and maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) as indicators of respiratory muscle strength, airway patency and repiratory muscle endurance, respectively. Independent t tests and Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney nonparametric tests revealed no significant differences between the 'trained' and 'untrained' groups for the pulmonary functions. Correlation analysis revealed a moderate relationship (r = 0.498, p ≤ 0.0001) between a derived continuous variable called the weighted training equivalent (WTE) and FVC. Regression analysis revealed that WTE and level of injury accounted for approximately 30% of the variance of FVC with WTE contributing 25%. Exercise training may positively affect FVC in persons with quadriplegia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-441
Number of pages7
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • Exercise training
  • Pulmonary function testing
  • Quadriplegia
  • Spinal cord athlete
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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