Report of practicability of a 6-month home-based functional electrical stimulation cycling program in an individual with tetraplegia

David R. Dolbow, Ashraf S. Gorgey, Jewel R. Moore, David R. Gater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Sedentarism is common among people with spinal cord injury (SCI). However, new technologies such as functional electrical stimulation cycles with internet connectivity may provide incentive by removing some of the limitations and external barriers. Objective: To determine the effectiveness of a long-term home-based functional electrical stimulation lower extremities cycling (FES-LEC) program on exercise adherence, body composition, energy expenditure, and quality of life (QOL) in an adult with chronic tetraplegia. Participant: A 53-year-old man, 33 years post-motor complete C4 SCI participated in FES-LEC in his home, three sessions per week for 24 weeks. Methods: Exercise adherence was calculated as the percentage of performed cycling sessions relative to the recommended number of cycling sessions. Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Energy expenditure was measured using a COSMED K4b2 and QOL via the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHO-QOL) Brief Questionnaire. Testing was performed before and after the 24-week exercise program. Results: The participant cycled 59 out of a recommended 72 sessions which is an exercise adherence rate of 82%. Body composition displayed increases in total body lean mass (LM) with an increase of 3.3% and an increase in leg LM of 7.1%. Energy expenditure increased by 1.26 kcal/minute or greater than 200%. The physical and psychological domain scores of QOL increased by 25 and 4.5%, respectively. Conclusion: This case study provides encouragement concerning the practicality of a home-based FES-LEC program for those with SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-186
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Exercise regimen
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Tetraplegia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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