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Adult Amputees Don’t Get the Recommended Weekly Exercise Amount—Study

Posted by Bryan Potok, CPO on

A new study sheds light on the less-discussed topic of exercise rates in the amputee population. The research, presented by Mark Sedenberg, DO, at the 28th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, shows that amputees and their physicians need to prioritize regular exercise.

According to a study, adult amputees don't get enough exercise.

The research looked into the lifestyles of 200 adults with an amputation. It found that less than one-third of the patients meet the recommended weekly exercise amount of 150 minutes or approximately 21 minutes per day. 

The research also identified factors that contribute to less physical activity, which include: lack of a functioning prosthesis, the burden of chronic medical disease, and increased body mass index (BMI). Furthermore, the study identified that women are more likely to be less physically active than their male counterparts. 

Considering the significant impact of exercise in preventing and treating most medical conditions, Dr. Sedenberg emphasized the need for physicians to encourage their patients to exercise. He also said that one way to increase exercise rates among amputees is to have information about adaptive sports and other exercise opportunities ready. 

Another way for amputees to maintain the recommended activity levels is to set realistic goals with their healthcare providers. The simple act of setting goals has significantly improved fitness and well-being among adults with amputation, Dr. Sedenberg said.

What do you think of the study? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. 
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  • I believe the key to getting more exercise is a well fitting AND well functioning prosthesis. When the stump is in pain, exercise becomes burdensome. Also, when the prosthesis isn’t in good shape, I’m worried about breaking it before I can get another one. Correcting these two major issues goes a long way towards making exercise more likely.

    Darryl Forbes on

  • I am 74 and go to health club 2 times a week for a hour, I try be active at least 1 hr but it is hard with below the knee leg. the weather impacts me, a hour on the non health club consists of housework and wheelchair any body have a ideal/
    aprill tiffany

    april tiffany on

  • Walk a mile in my prosthetics (bilateral below knee) before you suggest I exercise more. I would happily exercise 30 minutes a day 5 days a week if it didn’t result in wounds on my stumps and pain with every step.

    Joe Scott on

  • It is hard to exercise when you are in constant pain

    Daniel on

  • I am a newly amputee, and prior to my amputation I loved to workout every day. It’s going to be 3yrs come April 5th, 2020. I’ve had many surgeries after amputation and I’m on my 2nd prosthetic leg and going to the gym at least 5 to 6 days a week, now. Here’s my problem, I have loss so much volume in my leg, and having difficulty with my prosthetic leg being too big. Not sure what I can do, it’s dammed if you do and you’re dammed if you don’t. Just wondering if anybody has that problem!!

    Monie on

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