The Joy Active Study

The Joy-Active Project focusses on promoting and implementing physical activity guidelines for adults with disabilities. The study purposes are to look at participation within a community-based exercise program for adults with disabilities and to better understand the experiences and perceptions of individuals participating in an exercise program for adults with disabilities. We will be looking at relationships between well-being, quality participation, happiness, and physical fitness. Participants will take part in a 12-week exercise program following the appropriate physical activity guidelines. The program includes a session with a fitness trainer, a personalized exercise prescription, and group-based exercise sessions in the research gym.

Why should you participate in this study?

Participants in this study will help us better understand experiences and perceptions of individuals participating in an exercise program for adults with neurological disorders who have mobility impairments. Participation in this study will encourage participants to reflect on their experiences within the program. In particular, the questionnaires will require them to think deeply about how they are feeling when they participate at the research gym facility, and their motivation or reasoning which underlies their participation. This may prompt them to recognize the potential benefits (i.e. health, social, psychological, etc.) that may be associated with participation in the program.

By participating in the study, participants will have free access to an accessible exercise gym twice a week over the course of the study period (12 weeks). They will also receive a free one-on-one session with a certified fitness trainer and they will receive a personalized exercise prescription.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you

  • are over the age of 18, AND
  • are able to read, speak, and understand English, AND
  • have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis OR have been diagnosed with a spinal cord injury more than one year ago and have an injury level at C3 or below and are able to perform upper-body exercises, AND
  • have no medical contra-indications to performing an exercise test, AND
  • have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and can show a proof of vaccination following the provincial guidelines of British Columbia

You may not be able to participate in this study if you

  • cannot read, write, or orally communicate in English
  • have been previously told you have had a cognitive or memory impairment
  • are pregnant
  • are an in-patient at a hospital at the time of enrolment
  • have been told by a health care professional that you should not exercise
  • have experienced any ‘flu-like’ symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or have been in contact with a clinically confirmed case of COVID-19 within the past 14 days

Time commitment
Surveys: 3×20 min + 24 x 5 min: 180 min. Exercise and strength testing: 3×15 min + 3x5min = 60 min. The total time on testing include 180 + 60 min = 4 hours.  In addition, participants are encouraged to do at least 24-36 hours of exercise training (2-3 hours per week, subject to ability and progression).

Compensation for participation

Participants will not receive a reimbursement for participating in the study. They will have free access 2x/week to an accessible research gym over the course of the study period. Participants will not have access to the research gym after the end of the study period.

The study will take place at UBC Okanagan.

For more information or to sign up to participate, please contact the study coordinator, Kenedy Olsen, by email or phone 236-970-6226.