The primary aim is to describe and compare resting energy expenditure (REE) and energy expenditure (EE) during different standardized sedentary, non-exercise and exercise activities in people with motor-complete paraplegia (Th7 to Th12.). A secondary aim was to compare men and women. Thirty-eight adults (10 women) with SCI, T7-T12 AIS A-B, were recruited. All the data were collected through indirect calorimetry. REE was measured in supine for 30 min after 8 h of overnight fasting. Activity energy expenditure (AEE) for activities was measured for seven minutes during sedentary, non-exercise physical activity (NEPA) and exercise activities.
AEE increased four to eight times when engaging in NEPA compared to that in sedentary activities. Men had significantly higher resting oxygen uptake compared to women, 0.19 vs 0.15 l min-1 (P=0.005), REE per 24 h, 1286 vs 1030 kcal (P=0.003) and EE during weight-bearing activities. However, these became nonsignificant after adjustment for body weight and speed of movement, with a mean resting oxygen uptake of 2.47 ml O2 per kg min-1for the whole group (women 2.43 and men 2.57 ml O2 kg-1 min-1, P=0.49). NEPA increases AEE up to eight times compared to sedentary activities. Gender differences in oxygen uptake during both rest and weight-bearing activities were diminished after adjustment for body weight. The mean resting oxygen uptake for the whole group was 2.47 ml O2 kg-1 min-1. These results highlight the importance, especially of NEPA, for increasing total daily EE in the target population.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 4 April 2017; doi:10.1038/sc.2017.27.