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High-intensity interval training for cardiometabolic health benefits in chronic paraplegia

This study will determine if upper-body high-intensity interval training is effective at improving cardiometabolic health outcomes in people with paraplegia.

Project status



1 Mar 2021 to 31 Dec 2022

Lifestyle diseases in people with spinal cord injuries

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 high-intensity interval training in people with a spinal cord injury.

Project Summary

In this project, we will use a 6-week randomised controlled trial (RCT) in people with chronic (more than 1 year post-injury) paraplegia to examine the effect of a high-intensity interval training (versus control) on a range of biomarkers of cardiometabolic health. The exercise intervention will be home-based, with participants provided with an arm-crank ergometer to use.


We are looking for individuals who are between 18 and 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

A full list of eligibility criteria can be found on our recruitment page.


This work will be supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Project Team


If you have any questions about the study, please contact us.