Exercise to reduce obesity in SCI

Mark S. Nash, David R. Gater

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Obesity and obesity-related secondary complications represent highly prevalent health hazards among adults with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). Obesity commonly accompanies a positive energy balance resulting from unique postinjury physiology and attenuated utilization of dietary and body fat by a diminished body muscle mass. Accumulation of body fat disposes persons with SCI to accelerated endocrine and cardiovascular diseases, as well as pain, functional decline, and diminished life satisfaction. Its health consequences are more serious in persons with SCI and more difficult to reverse, making primary prevention an important goal for persons living with SCI. Exercise is a widely recognized and effective countermeasure for obesity in persons without disability. In many cases, voluntary and involuntary exercise can also be used to improve energy balance and reduce obesity-related health hazards after SCI, although special guidelines are required for selection of exercise mode and intensities. This monograph will examine health hazards of obesity after SCI, its likely antecedents, exercise options, and types of exercise that increase body muscle mass and fitness in persons with SCI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-93
Number of pages18
JournalTopics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurology


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