Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2576-1919 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
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Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2020, 5(1), 49-55
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-5-1-10
Open AccessArticle

Wheelchair Basketball Exercise Intensity in Youth

D.R. Shapiro1, and J.P. Barfield2

1Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 30303 USA

2School of Health Sciences, Emory & Henry College, Emory, VA, 24327 USA

Pub. Date: August 11, 2020

Cite this paper:
D.R. Shapiro and J.P. Barfield. Wheelchair Basketball Exercise Intensity in Youth. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2020; 5(1):49-55. doi: 10.12691/jpar-5-1-10


Children and youth with physical disabilities are at the greatest risk for inactivity, emphasizing the need for evidence-based activity options in recreation, rehabilitation, and post-rehabilitation settings. To determine if a wheelchair sport enabled youth participants to sustain moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), the primary purpose of this study was to document exercise intensity of wheelchair basketball (WBB) among youth. The secondary purpose was to examine the influence of age, disability type, and training condition on intensity. Thirty-four youth with physical disabilities (MAge = 15.73 ± 2.57 yrs; MPlaying Experience = 4.32 ± 2.77 yrs) participated in three wheelchair basketball training sessions that included tactical drills (M = 113 min), and scrimmage (M = 57 min) training conditions. Percentage of maximum heart rate (HRMax), mean accelerometer vector counts per minute, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed across 3 practices and collapsed into one training intensity score for each variable. Mean HRMax was 66±8% and mean accelerator vector counts were 6,055±1439 per minute, indicating that participants sustained MVPA during WBB training. Perceived effort, however, was distinct from the actual physical demand as mean RPE was 3.1±1.5. Age did not influence intensity scores but players who had a congenital or acquired spinal cord injury and were participating in scrimmage activity demonstrated higher exercise intensity. These findings support the ability of youth WBB players to sustain MVPA. This activity can be recommended as an evidence-based initiative in sport, rehabilitation or post-rehabilitation settings.

disability sport physical disability exercise prescription fitness heart rate

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