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Physical Activity Research Centre: a pilot study on exercise and health (PARC)

Researcher(s): Dr. Tania Lam

The Physical Activity Research Centre (PARC) is a community-based research facility that is is committed to providing opportunities for the local spinal cord injury (SCI) community to participate in research on exercise and physical activity. Our goal is to advance research to understand the best strategies for providing opportunities for people with complete or partial paralysis due to spinal cord dysfunction to participate in exercise and physical activity. The aim of this study is to examine physical activity and health outcomes in people with spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting in complete or partial paralysis.

If you are interested in this study and meet the eligibility criteria, you must first complete a PARmed-X form with you physician. Once the form is complete, you will be asked to make an appointment with our PARC staff for your first visit so that we can conduct a short series of non-invasive physical assessments. After this first visit, you will be able to come and use the PARC facility as often as you would like for as long as you would like. The physical assessments will be reassessed every six months after initial intake appointment. Click here for more information on how to get started with PARC.

PARC-Aug13-group2-horizWhy should you participate in this study?

The PARC facility is a state of the art adaptive fitness facility. By participating in this research study not only will you be able to access this facility to carry out your independent exercise program, but you will be helping us determine the best approaches to providing opportunities for people with spinal cord injury (SCI) in and around Vancouver to participate in exercise and physical activity.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if:

  • you had a spinal cord injury (SCI) resulting in chronic, complete or partial paraplegia or tetraplegia. Your spinal cord injury could be due to traumatic injury (e.g. vehicle accident, fall, impact by object, sports, or violence) or non-traumatic injury such as those caused by illness or congenital conditions (e.g. tumour, bacterial or viral infection, immune disorder, neurodegenerative disease, post-surgical complication, spina bifida)
  • it has been determined by your doctor that it is safe for you to exercise (by completing a PARmed-X)
  • you are in stable medical condition; and
  •  you are 18 years of age or older

You may be excluded from this study if:

  • you have any cardiovascular condition, musculoskeletal injuries, or any other health or medical condition for which exercise is contra-indicated;
  • you have a history of stroke, cerebral palsy, or other chronic condition due to brain injury;
  • you have difficulty remembering things on a daily basis or performing other basic cognitive tasks (we may administer a test to assess this).

Time commitment

You will be required to commit to a 2 hour visit once every 6 months for physical assessments. Other than these visits, you can use the PARC facility as little or a frequently as you like between 6 month assessments.

To participate in this study, please contact Alison Williams by email or phone 604-675-8814.