Are there any wheelchair users out there?

I've been reading some of the posts about different exercise challenges but they mostly involve counting steps. I was wondering if there are any other wheelchair users in this community, who would like to share a challenge that's specifically geared to us. I'm open to ideas for fun challenges or just to find out how we're all getting on.


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22 Replies

  • Hi Finnberry

    Not sure if you are aware as a wheelchair user steps can be monitored using a fitbit. ☺

  • No, I wasn't aware. What's the point in monitoring steps though? Do they equate to something? Or is each step one wheelpull? Do you know if they work indoors or only from GPS?

  • Yes you can wear inside and out. You monitor excercise on free app also calories and sleep patterns etc.

    Google fitbit for wheelchair users.

    I haven't been through it but something in my head did think you could use fitbit as a wheelchair user.☺

  • I've just googled it and it seems like it's not really a solution. It tracks movement based on arm movements but by FItbit's own admission, it's not accurate for wheelies. If I was going to pay that much for something, I'd want something that actually works. I'll stick with Google Fit for now and just monitor outdoor activity.

  • Hi Finnberry,

    I just wanted to welcome you to the NHS weight loss community, and I think your idea to have a Challenge specifically geared to wheelchair users is a great idea. But as Trulyplumptious has also mentioned, you could join in the existing challenges by working out your wheelchair user steps - I didn't realise a Fitbit could do that - sounds really good!

    Please do have a look at the Welcome Newbie post too, in the Pinned posts area (right-hand-side of the homepage) to see what other things people like about the forum, and please do join in with anything you like the look of that you'd enjoy participating in. We have a Monday group weigh-in, and there is a link to that further down the page.

    Wishing you a great week.

    Lowcal :-)

  • Thanks. I don't get what wheelchair user steps are though. The whole point is that I don't step, I roll. Do the steps mean something?

  • Well, to be honest I don't understand the wheelchair steps thing either, but hopefully Trulyplumptious will be able to say more about it.

    FizzyLiz and RobLandsdown91 's challenges are all about kms, and I know that they count kms done on a bike as well as steps via walking or running etc, so I wonder if you could contribute via the distances you cover when you're in your wheelchair, I don't really see too much problem with that? Maybe message them, and see what they think?

    Maybe the Fitbit converts the distance covered in the wheelchair to equivalent distance in kms - that would work really well for the Challenges.

    moreless might also comment on this, as she works out the kms for some of the challenges, and I would imagine that being a wheelchair user shouldn't prevent you taking part at all.

    But I realise you're hoping to do a post specifically geared for wheelchair users, and I hope that any of our community who do use wheelchairs will see your post and get in touch as well.

    Sorry for being so verbose, I'm a bit tired today as I'm jet-lagged after a long trip.

  • Hi Finnberry

    I understand what your saying. For none wheelchair users the fitbit doesn't work solely on steps it records the arm movements when walking.

    I know this as I did about 3 miles on my tred mill and because I held on to the handles in front ie didn't swing my arms like I would do in normal gait fitbit didn't record a step.

    I appreciate it's not for everyone however I personally love my fit bit.

    I also appreciate they appear expensive but so is slimming world etc.

    I suppose initially I was sceptical about them. I ordered from QVC which allowed me to use for 30 days monitor myself see if it gave me any benefit and if it wasn't for me I could send it back for a full refund. I kept it.

    I appreciate it's not for everyone.

    Hope you get sorted. Have you any suggestions for a challenge for wheelchair users?☺

  • I've been googling some more and it looks like Chaotic Moon are developing a device for wheelchair users but it's not out yet.

    I fancy getting into wheelchair athletics (just for fun, not competing) so I think I'll save the money towards a sports chair.

    Wheelchair challenge ideas... something based on distance or time spent propelling would be okay. My GPS odometer app and Google fit both track distance propelled outside, plus speed and calories burned. I try to get out 2 or 3 evenings a week and do several laps of the park - up to about 3 km at between 4 and 5 mph. I'd like to increase the distance without losing the speed.

  • Oh that's good news Finnberry. Why don't you approach them and offer your services to trial it for them.

    It can't hurt all they can say is no thank you. You never know.

    Has anybody responded to you as being a wheelchair user?

    Do you know any other self propelling wheelchair users you could enlist that may not be aware this site exists to enable and support your challenges-idea?

    To be honest i can't see if your measuring your km why you can't be involved in the statics collated on this site.

    The post comes up every Monday to submit your weekly km covered in a week. The results in km covered are the same the only difference is the methodology ie muscle type used to achieve the outcome.

    I believe Moreless or Lowcal are the people who can advise you of this.

    Anyway keep me informed. ☺

    I am very interested and keen to see how you go on. ☺

  • The only reason I didn't feel I could join in, is that either nobody on that site has an indoor job or they must measure their whole day, including when they are indoors. I was seeing distances like 200km per week. If I measure 20, it would be a miracle! We just came back from our evening walk and we've covered 2.5km. Compared to the others on that post, it hardly seems worth bothering.

  • The challenges are designed to motivate and are open to everyone Finnberry :)

    If you can find a way to record the distances you roll, indoor or out, then those kilometres will be as important as everyone else's. We do not compete against each other, we only try to better our own performances, we don't judge, we applaud every effort.

    We have had, members with very limited mobility, who were unable to manage 1K per day, but we backed them to the hilt, because that was a massive achievement for them.

    I think if you can manage 10 K's per week, that's brilliant and as good as, if not better than I was able to manage when I first joined.

    I hope very much that you'll join our challenge and have as much fun as we do :)

  • Oh Finnberry

    Of course it's worth it. The site has varying people at varies stages with different conditions age ability and weightloss goals.

    You have your hares and tortoises I am a 🐢I walk I don't run at all. However we all seem to gel together.

    If you do manage 20k per week is 80k per month. We are all diffetent we are in it for the long haul it a wsy of life it's not a sprint it's a marathon.

    Self propelling a wheelchair is darn hard work -full credit to you.💪

    Inspiration is here everyday if you need it. Some people have lost oodles of weight whereas some are just starting their weigh loss journey and others in between. Everyone is on this site is important and that includes you.

    Join the challenges - 👍

    We share the good with the bad. We ask advice - there is always someone to respond to you.

    All I can do is to encourage you and see how it goes. ☺🐢

  • Your distance is definitely worth logging! Even though it's a challenge, we're only really competing with ourselves because we're all moving in different ways. But it's a great way to acknowledge and share the effort we're putting in and the progress we're making with other people who understand how great it is when we do a little better than we did before.

  • I'm not a wheelchair user but have spent lots if time on crutches and sticks and agree that exercise is not just about 'steps' 😊 You have had some good advice regarding challenges 😊 I agree that wheelchair laps should count, but maybe an equation can be worked out that recognises the extra effort?

    I also have done a couple if you-tube chair based workouts and use weights on my wrists to increase the cardio burn, not sure if this is your thing?

    Good luck with the weight loss, it must be so much more difficult for you but so important 😊

  • I use weights for my physio twice a day but not for cardio workouts. It's more for the strength-based exercise. I don't think weight loss or exercise is any more difficult for me but measuring accurately is. I think it's just different. For example, last night my husband came to the park with me. He walked as fast as he could but couldn't keep up with me (so he takes short cuts across the middle) but at the end I was much more out of breath than him. It's impossible to compare really.

    Today, I kept my GPS on all day and Google Fit turned on. It says I've done just over 1000 steps and covered 0.1km. I did walk a little but probably not that much. However I'm pretty sure I've rolled more than 100m during the day. I feel like I hardly stopped!

  • Could your husband walk the route so you know the distance? I'm sure there will be some equation online suggesting how far 1km wheel chaired equates to, or even how many calories are burned in 20 minutes? In FizzyLiz challenge swim distances are tripled to reflect the effort, in sure the same would apply to wheelchairs 😊

    If you are losing pounds then you are obviously doing something right and have the calorie balance correct 😊

    Good luck 😊

  • Well my point is that I can measure 'routes' but I'm kind of assuming that when people are posting distances between 100 and 200km per week, they are not only measuring designated routes, but that they are wearing a step counter all day, from getting up to going to bed.

    So whilst I'm at work, I might go to the loo, go and speak to a tutor in a classroom, go back to my office, pop outside to speak to a workman, go and take something into a classroom, etc... all day. Admittedly, other days, I just sit at my desk in my office. It's those kind of things that I couldn't take my husband to measure.

  • I see what you mean. I wear an activity tracker but my stats are low compared to others, but I try to compete against myself. For the purpose of the challenges all contributions are welcome 😊 I'm 12 days after a hysterectomy and my step numbers are pretty feeble but I still register them 😊

  • Well, I'll give it a try. I actually managed an 8 minute walk on crutches last night. That doesn't often happen after a day at work!

  • That's got to equate to at least 30 minute brisk unaided walking!! 😊😊😊

  • Hi Finnberry just seen this post. As far as I know no one has mentioned being in a wheelchair on this site but lots of people just read posts so maybe someone will spot yours. Also as Anna mentions some people have other mobility issues so there's definitely a range of types of activities people are doing as a result of that.

    I wanted to say the post youre seeing 100/200km on etc is Fizzyliz's kilometer zero posts I think. On there, as you observe, some people are recording every single step and do long walks/ cycles etc, and getting incredible results. But the key is its incredible for them, we all have our different ways of measuring things. For me I get my exercise from cycling and running so I just post those as kms, usually around 40-50km/ week which I think is a very respectable total for someone with a full time job. Some people just swim which obviously accrues a much lower total number of kms. But overall the point is we're not competing against each other we're just using a collective post to motivate us to build on what we already do week by week.

    As far as I know the only people who put steps have a gadget that measures in steps e.g. fitbit, up move, etc. I use the endomondo app which measures in km. I just looked at the list of activities you can measure on there and wheelchair is in the list. But it sounds like you already measure your kms in some way probably with a similar app?

    I hope the Strength September will be relevant too. I think we could all take some advice on core and upper body strengthening with all those thousands of steps getting so much attention elsewhere :)

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