Physical activity guidelines for adults with a spinal cord injury

Helping everyone lead an active lifestyle.

In collaboration with partners worldwide, we have launched international exercise guidelines, based on gold-standard practices, for adults with a spinal cord injury (SCI).

The growing popularity of Paralympic sport since London 2012 has highlighted that a serious injury is something that can be overcome.

Exercise is an important tool for improving wellbeing and enhancing independence, but many health professionals highlight a lack of clear guidance on how best to prescribe physical activity. More than 60,000 adults in the UK live with SCI, but outside elite disability sport, they are among the least active, putting many at risk of secondary health complications.

female using a wheelchair in the park with a dog
The guidelines are now being rolled out to as many people as possible.

Although support for these individuals is available through physiotherapists and occupational health specialists, these practitioners have never had guidance on how to encourage physical activity that is beneficial and safe.

At the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, we have worked together with a range of international partners, including physios, clinicians, researchers and most importantly those with spinal cord injuries, to agree exercise guidelines that have been rolled out to benefit as many people as possible. 

In addition to academic and news articles, infographics and Expert Statements, our guidelines have been shared via video, popular magazines and social media – greatly widening their reach and appeal. They have been warmly welcomed by healthcare professionals and users alike, and are now available in five languages on the website.

Meet the Game Changers

vicky tolfrey

Professor Vicky Tolfrey

Professor of Applied Disability Sport

Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis

Visiting Professor to the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport

Dr Christof Leicht

Lecturer in Exercise Physiology