Are you active enough?

Mark Sederberg, DO, presented a research abstract on the rarely studied topic of exercise rates in the amputee population at the 28th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) in Houston.

“Exercise is essential for the prevention and treatment of most common medical conditions from diabetes to hypertension and obesity,” Sederberg said. “Physicians should talk to their patients about exercise. This is especially important for those with disabilities as they face additional barriers to exercise.”

To evaluate the exercise rates in patients with amputation using a standardized exercise vital sign, Sederberg and his colleagues asked 200 amputees how many days per week they performed moderate to vigorous intensity exercise and for how long.

The research found that less than one-third of patients with an amputation meet the recommended weekly exercise amount of 150 total minutes. Additionally, increased body mass index (BMI), increased chronic medical disease burden, female gender, and the lack of a functioning prosthesis were all significantly correlated with less weekly exercise.

“The finding that those who exercised less had a higher disease burden, higher BMI, and were more likely female highlights populations that may need more attention,” Sederberg said. “For these patients, having information ready about adaptive sports and exercise opportunities and setting realistic goals with their healthcare provider’s support can go a long way in supporting their fitness and well-being.”

If nothing else, these findings indicate that providers should be aware of the barriers to exercise in this population and help them participate in physical activity more often.

For information on a variety of sports and exercise opportunities for amputees, visit and the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) at

This article was adapted from information provided by AMSSM.