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Take part in a home-based high-intensity interval training study for people with paraplegia

Help us determine if high-intensity interval training is effective at improving predictors of cardiovascular disease for people with a spinal cord injury.

Background information

Find out more about our study.

Evidence shows that lifestyle diseases, for example, type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease, are more common and occur earlier in the lifespan of people with a spinal cord injury.

Performing regular exercise is an effective strategy to prevent the development of such diseases, however, evidence is limited for those with a spinal cord injury. With a view to improving the health of wheelchair users, we will be studying whether exercising at a high-intensity is more effective than traditional moderate-intensity exercise.

Study information

For participants safety, we will only begin to recruit volunteers once Covid-19 restrictions on campus have been lifted. We will be recruiting for this study until December 2022, or until we reach capacity.

What's involved in the study

This study involves measurements being taken on two occasions during a period of six weeks. Measurements include:

  • blood profile
  • body composition (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry scans)
  • energy expenditure
  • diet
  • fitness

You will be randomly assigned to either undertake a 6-week HIIT exercise programme, exercising 4 times per week at home, or to maintain your current physical activity habits for 6-weeks.


We are looking for individuals who are 18-65 years old and:

  • have a chronic (over 12 months post-injury) spinal cord injury at or below the second thoracic (T2) vertebrae
  • Spend over 75% of their waking day using a wheelchair

What you'll get for taking part

You will receive a detailed report of your data, including diet, physical activity levels, blood test results, and body composition.


Only the lead researcher, Matthew Farrow, and Chief Investigator, Professor James Bilzon will have access to the personal information you provide, and all records will be treated as confidential, including personal contact details. This study has ethical approval.1

We'd love for you to be involved.

Take part in our research

Get in touch

If you have any questions about this research study, please contact the lead researcher.

1 This study has been approved by an NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC ref: 20/SW/0051)