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FES Rowing Device

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Abstract

Exercise is linked with numerous health benefits; however people with spinal cord injury (SCI) are limited in their ability to perform adequate exercise due to loss of function below the injury level. One method to improve exercise intensity after SCI is through functional electrical stimulation (FES) exercise. FES exercise, combined with voluntary upper extremity movements, provides whole-body exercise in this population which would otherwise be impossible. . Rowing is an ideal activity for people with SCI because it requires activation of the posterior shoulder muscles, which are typically weak in people with SCI. Adaptation of an existing rowing machine for FES requires integration of electrical stimulators, a switch and bracket system to control the stimulators, and other seating and stability options. The final design was well received by people with SCI and shows promise for increasing exercise intensity and improving shoulder muscle balance.

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