Researchers from California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA) have received a 3-year, $600,000 grant to study the exercise needs of wheelchair users—specifically those with spinal cord injuries.

Kinesiology professor Stéfan Keslacy and his research team received the funds from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, and will use them to develop a mobile app—in collaboration with medical device startup company Dynofit—that tracks muscle activity and provides feedback. In addition, they also plan to assess the impact of exercise on social participation and quality of life, states a media release from Cal State LA.

“A traumatic spinal cord injury is a devastating event with lifelong consequences,” says Keslacy, the grant’s principal investigator. “These individuals are more likely to be affected by chronic diseases due to their extreme sedentary situation. With our expertise in rehabilitation, our team plans to train the clients at the University’s Mobility Center in new methods of exercise.”

Keslacy adds that the team hopes that the collaboration with Dynofit will result in a mobile app that will help motivate wheelchair users to exercise and engage in their own healthcare and rehab.

The grant will also enable the team to provide 20 fellowships for 20 undergraduate and three graduate students per year over the 3-year period.

“Cal State LA students will have the opportunity to be involved in every step of the project—from the training of the participants on campus, to data collection and data dissemination,” Keslacy states in the release. “We are extremely happy that this grant will…help many of our students, and minority students in particular, to be involved in research.”

Source(s): California State University, Los Angeles; Newswise]