Leisure time physical activity among older adults with long-term spinal cord injury
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STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional. OBJECTIVES: To describe participation in leisure time physical activity (LTPA) (amount, intensity and type) among older adults with long-term spinal cord injury (SCI), and to investigate the associations with sociodemographics, injury characteristics and secondary health conditions (SHCs). SETTING: Home settings in southern Sweden. METHODS: Data from the Swedish Aging with Spinal Cord Injury Study (SASCIS). The physical activity recall assessment for people with SCI was used to assess LTPA among 84 men and 35 women (mean age 63.5 years, mean time since injury 24 years, injury levels C1-L5, American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale A-D). Associations were analyzed statistically using hierarchical multivariable regression. RESULTS: Twenty-nine percent reported no LTPA, whereas 53% performed moderate-to-heavy intensity LTPA. The mean minutes per day of total LTPA was 34.7 (±41.5, median 15, range 0-171.7) and of moderate-to-heavy LTPA 22.5 (±35.1, median 5.0, range 0-140.0). The most frequently performed activities were walking and wheeling. Sociodemographics, injury characteristics and SHCs (bowel-related and bladder-related problems, spasticity and pain) explained 10.6% and 13.4%, respectively, of the variance in total and moderate-to-heavy LTPA. Age and wheelchair use were significantly, negatively associated with total LTPA. Women, wheelchair users and employed participants performed significantly less moderate-to-heavy LTPA than men, those using walking devices/no mobility device and unemployed participants. CONCLUSION: Many older adults with long-term SCI do not reach the amount or intensity of LTPA needed to achieve fitness benefits. Research is needed on how to increase LTPA and to identify modifiable factors that could enhance their participation.