The Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, has developed a mobile app, (SCI-Ex), to promote fitness for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The app, which is available as a free download for both Apple and Android devices, provides video demonstrations with detailed descriptions of proper equipment use, accurate transfer methods and adaptive exercise techniques.
The current version of the app is a pilot project designed to get user feedback on an initial set of exercise videos produced by Brothers Young Productions. Shepherd Center plans to expand the app’s content in future versions as additional funds become available.
The app allows users to choose exercises appropriate for their injury level, set and track fitness goals, and save information on their exercise routine. SCI-Ex also includes links to helpful resources.
Exercises featured are for people with an SCI between C-3 and T-12 and are available in four categories: strength training, cardiovascular, flexibility/balance, and neuromuscular.
To access the app yourself just visit the App Store or Google Play and search for SCI-Ex or Shepherd Center.
Two members of SIA Outreach Team sampled the app and you can see their feedback below:
You can plan out how often you want to exercise, which could be good for motivation, and it also makes recommendations around how to safely build up aerobic exercise as a person with SCI. There are links to various websites for further information e.g. about autonomic dysreflexia, but whether that’s the most convenient way to access this information is arguable.
Installing it was easy, no problems, but then whilst trying it out it crashed twice and was operating very slowly. Looking at reviews, I’m not the only one who experienced crashing.
Exercises are clearly explained and videos are clear, using both audio explanation, physical demonstrations and subtitles. However, many of them do use lots of equipment that people may not have access to – e.g. a pulley system, nu step…
The app has an aspect where users can give feedback, so though it’s far from perfect, maybe beneficial for people to use it and then give honest feedback which could go towards improvements?
(NB: I did try a couple of the exercises and even I could do them, so at least they are not pitched too high, providing you can get some of the equipment!)
I’ve looked at this App it seems quite good. It provides a range of strength exercises with YouTube video demos that are SCI specfic however there are some SCI levels not provided for (does this mean they can’t train??)
Àerobic exercises they use a Nustep which I believe is a specialist piece of equipment however we could recommend that we change this for a sit hand bike or cross train/rower.
There is also exercise planner which allows you to plan each individual workout scrolling and selecting each exercise daily but does not suggest a number of reps or sets, I guess that is at the user’s discretion!
There are also links to the Sheffield Centre website which provides useful and relevant medical information on spinal cord injury.