Appropriate levels of physical activity are important to optimize well-being. Often, individuals with physical disabilities encounter barriers when attempting to engage in physical activity, such as lacking transportation or access to adapted activity equipment. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected high-risk populations' accessibility to physical activity, such as individuals with spinal cord injuries (SCI), which can greatly reduce mobility and increase disease susceptibility. Home-based exercise has been shown useful for improving flexibility and reducing spasticity. Additionally, the home-based exercise would remove transportation requirements and reduce the spread of disease, specifically COVID-19, during the pandemic. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the chronic engagement of home-based electrical stimulation exercise (ESE) on energy index (EI) and spasticity in individuals with SCI. METHODS: 9 individuals with ASIA A or B SCI were recruited for this study. Participants were mailed exercise equipment (PowerDot). Participants completed a 5-day run-in period where they answered the brief assessment of mood (BAM) questionnaire and visual analog scale (10 cm) for spasticity via Qualtrics. Following this, participants engaged in neuromuscular electrical stimulation exercise (NMES) of the quadriceps and the hamstrings for 20 minutes each, totaling 40 minutes. This was completed Monday through Friday for three weeks or 15 total exercise sessions. Each night prior to bed, participants would complete the BAM and pain VAS. RESULTS: There was no main effect of time or spasticity on EI (F(33,225) = 0.73, p = 0.86, F(1,255) = 0.89, p = 0.35; respectively). CONCLUSION: Home-based ESE did not attenuate spasticity or increase EI in individuals with SCI. The modality of exercise may not be sufficient to drive beneficial alterations in either of the described variables.



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