An exploratory study of the practicality and feasibility of an instrument. To adapt an activity monitor for use on a wheelchair to assess long-term mobility in a free-living environment in the spinal cord injury (SCI) population, and to explore the utility of the data collected. An activity monitor was adapted for use on a wheelchair wheel. The monitor was used to assess, for 1 week, the wheelchair mobility of seven participants with SCI who only used a wheelchair. In conjunction with a second monitor on the thigh the mobility of seven participants with SCI who used a wheelchair and upright mobility, and five healthy non-wheelchair users, were assessed for 1 day. The adapted monitor collected 1260 h of data and was suitable for use on both manual and electric wheelchairs. During 1 week, participants with SCI who only used a wheelchair spent between 4 and 13 h moving in the wheelchair, covering a distance of between 7 and 28 km. Distinct differences in mobility were shown between participants with an SCI and non-wheelchair users. The differences in time spent in mobility activities between the groups of participants with SCI were smaller. The system was successfully used in this group of participants with SCI, and could provide useful information on the mobility of people with SCI in a free-living environment.
- spinal cord injury
- physical activity