What is it about?

Research conducted in individuals who do not have disabilities has found that anxiety sensitivity is an important factor that helps explain why exercise is good for our mental health. Anxiety sensitivity is a term that explains how we experience and interpret sensations in our bodies. After a spinal cord injury, the way one experiences these sensations can change, and thus, anxiety sensitivity may have a different relationship with exercise and mental health for this population. This study explores how anxiety sensitivity relates to exercise in people with a spinal cord injury.

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Why is it important?

Researchers are beginning to explore exercise as a way to help decrease anxiety and depression, and many use interventions that are targeted towards anxiety sensitivity. Although individuals with a spinal cord injury are much more likely to experience anxiety and depression, this study shows that exercise interventions targeted towards anxiety sensitivity may not carry the same benefits for people with a spinal cord injury. It is important to note that research has shown both physical and mental health benefits from exercise for people with a spinal cord injury, however, different factors may be more important in explaining the link between exercise and mental health.


For me, this research emphasized how important it is to include diverse samples in research and I hope this article does the same for others as well.

Emma Connell
University of New Brunswick Fredericton

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Mental health and physical activity in SCI: Is anxiety sensitivity important?, Rehabilitation Psychology, February 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/rep0000485.
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