Long-term Exercise Effects from Robotic Walking

Project: Research


Children and adolescents with severe cerebral palsy (CP) have no ability to walk, which means that they are very sedentary and only slightly physically active. Because of their extensive motion reduction, they have limited options to move and to experience movements and movement pleasure. They cannot stand or walk independently and therefore stand on a daily stand in a static standing aid. Standing contributes to important effects such as strain on the skeleton, stretching in the hip, knee and foot joints and reduction of sedentary sitting.

However, many children and young people with severe CP do not like to be strapped into standing aids and to stand still. They find that it hurts, and many describe it as boring to stand. The parents express regret having to strap in their children and seeing that their children do not like to stand. However, they still do this because they know that it is important for the children's health to stand, but the parents wish that the children could experience movements and movement pleasure. There is a motorized assistive device, Innowalk, which enables walking-like movements for these children while standing upright. The children get to experience walking movements that generate movements throughout the body, deepen their breathing, increase circulation and add movement pleasure for many children and young people without their own walking ability. The training with Innowalk can be described as dynamic standing training.

The ongoing research project LEER has the individual at the center in order to be able to find factors within the individual and in the individual's environment that facilitates and complicates dynamic standing training with Innowalk. We will also analyze biochemical markers in the blood to see how different forms of exercise affect different individuals. Heart, vessels, lungs, and metabolism are known factors that are positively affected by exercise. More recently, growth factors that affect brain function have also been shown to be positively affected by exercise. This has not been studied in children with CP.
Effective start/end date2019/05/012023/12/31

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