Physical activity and participation in amputees

Miss Jennifer Langford1, Dr  Michael Dillon3, Dr  Catherine L Granger1, Dr  Chris Barr2

1Royal Melbourne Hospital , Parkville, Australia, 2Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, 3LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Australia


The aim of this study was to describe physical activity participation amongst individuals with lower limb amputation (LLA) and compare this based on a range of factors thought to influence physical activity levels.


Community-dwelling adults with LLA were convenience sampled from a major metropolitan hospital. Participants completed a demographics questionnaire and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), from which an estimation of activity in MET-minutes/week was calculated.


Seventy-two participants, 65% male, mean age 53.6 (16.8) years, who were 10.7 (12.6) years post LLA (60% transtibial) participated in the study. About one-third of participants reported high- (38%), medium- (26%) and low- levels (36%) of physical activity on the IPAQ. Participants most commonly undertook domestic-related activities (74%) and activities of moderate intensity (75%). Dysvascular amputees (Mdn=540 MET-minutes/week) undertook significantly less activity compared to non-dysvascular amputees (Mdn=2955, p=0.014). Participants who lived alone (Mdn=4999) were significantly more active than individuals who lived with others (Mdn=1060, p=0.016). No significant differences in activity levels were identified based on amputation level, gender, prosthetic use or completion of rehabilitation. Physical activity levels were weakly related to age (higher activity levels in younger participants, r = -.259, p = .028) and time post amputation (higher activity levels with increased time post amputation, r= .237, p = .049).


This study gives insight into physical activity participation amongst individuals with LLA that may help guide clinicians on where to direct their focus to increase physical activity participation in this population.