Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport


Performance Health

Athlete being examined

Nutritional, exercise and health aspects of wheelchair users

Little data is available regarding body composition and the nutritional intakes or requirements of athletes with a disability. The nutritional supplement habits and perceptions of disabled athletes are also unknown.

Research in this area is exciting and will hopefully take us one step closer towards providing our athletes with much more detailed and individualised nutritional information.

Novel exercise modes utilising modern functional electrically stimulated (FES) exercise techniques provide the possibility of activating previously paralysed muscle and, in turn, the opportunity to increase energy expenditure and increase blood circulation in the lower limbs.

The role of FES in improving health and increasing energy expenditure will be explored in relation to traditional modes of upper body exercise.


  • Nutritional practices of competitive wheelchair basketball players
  • Nutritional supplement habits and perceptions of athletes with a disability
Research team

Professor Vicky Tolfrey, Terri Graham, Professor Ron Maughan, Prof Brett Smith, Dr Tom Paulson and Dr Lettie Bishop.

External collaborators

Dr Susan Shirreffs (GSK), Dr Claudio Perret (Swiss Paraplegic Centre), Professor Alan Batterham (Teeside University) and Jeanette Crosland (British Paralympic Association).


The Coca Cola Foundation, WADA, Standing Start.