|RERC on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities|
Rectech is dedicated to using technology to promote more healthy, active lifestyles for people with disabilities. The research literature provides overwhelming evidence that physically active lifestyles are associated with a long and impressive list of physical and psychological health benefits, improved quality of life, and increased independence. Unfortunately, a variety of environmental, physical and social barriers substantially limit opportunities for people with disabilities to engage in this important health behavior. The exigencies of contemporary life make activities of recreation, leisure and exercise a critical component of a healthy, satisfying and productive life. Rectech focuses on four areas of research and development that are key to promoting health and function and community participation for people with disabilities: 1) increasing access to the environments, equipment, and programs associated with healthy, active lifestyles; 2) encouraging greater participation in healthful levels of physical activity; 3) promoting adherence to being physically active on a regular basis, ideally every day; and 4) expanding the knowledge base on health and function outcomes of physical activity for people with disabilities.
For more information about RERC RecTech, please visit http://www.rectech.org.
RERC RecTech's current areas of impact include the following:
- Promoting national and international standards for recreation and fitness equipment through a collaborative project involving leading proponents of standards in the United States and the Inclusive Fitness Initiative in the United Kingdom
- Evaluating the potential of immersive, engaging virtual exercise environments (VEEs) to increase participation in regular physical activity
- Development of an open-source standard protocol for physically active online gaming and distance exercise programs
- Research to establish energy expenditure equivalency tables to allow wheelchair users to estimate daily energy expenditure using inexpensive and widely available personal monitoring technologies such as pedometers and accelerometers
- Research and development of web-based environmental accessibility instruments linked to databased solutions to reduce accessibility barriers in fitness and recreational facilities
- Development of distance physical activitity programs that support online cooperative or competitive participation
- Working with industry partner Life Fitness Corporation on a new generation of universally designed exercise equipment
- R1: Biomechanical Validation and Efficacy of a Universally-Designed Accessory Unit for Manual Wheelchair Users
Project Director: Karen Troy, Ph.D.
- R2: Utility of Common Activity Monitoring Devices in Measuring Energy Expenditure in Manual Wheelchair Users with SCI
Project Director: Dan Ding, Ph.D.
- R3: Development of an Online Environmental Accessibility Instrument and Solutions Database for Fitness and Recreation Environments. Project Director: James H. Rimmer, Ph.D.
- D1: Virtual Exercise Environments for People with Disabilities
Project Director: Jane Mulligan, Ph.D.
- D2: Remote Exercise and Game Architecture Language (REGAL)
Project Director: Pat Banerjee, Ph.D.
- D3: Universal Design of Cardiovascular and Strength Fitness Equipment to Provide Effective Upper Body Exercise
Project Director: Michael J. Scott, Ph.D.
- D4: Development of Uniform Standards for Accessible Fitness Equipment
Project Director: Peter Axelson, Beneficial Designs
- D5: Online RecTech Solutions Wiki
Project Director: Bruce Ankenman, Ph.D.
- State of the Science Conference on Exercise and Recreational Technologies for People
- Infusion of Rehabilitation Engineering into the Curriculum
- Promoting Student Design and Innovation
- ACSM Distance Learning Project
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Recreational Technologies and Exercise Physiology Benefiting Individuals with Disabilities (RERC RecTech) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is funded by U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) (Grant #H133E070029).