ZonMw rehabilitation program I 'Restoration of mobility'
ZonMw rehabilitation program II 'ALLRISC'
1. Umbrella project Restoration of mobility
2. Wheelchair skills
3. Cardiovascular adaptation
4. Mechanical strain of the upper extremities
5. Spasticity reduction using FES
6. Coordination of the upper extremities in tetraplegia
7. Everyday physical activity
8. Hand-arm policy in tetraplegia
9. Handbiking
10. Transmural nursing care
11. Immigrants in SCI rehabilitation
12. Determinants of physical capacity
13. Patient involvement in SCI rehabilitation
14. Respiratory adaptations
15. Classification of paramedical intervention
16. Patient monitoring
17. Upper extremity task performance in high SCI
18. Quality of life during and after SCI rehabilitation
19. Pulmonary complications and   physical inactivity
21. Universal wheelchair mobility skills test
22. WHEEL-i
23. Life satisfaction & wheelchair exercise capacity
24. Shoulder pain & range of motion 
Related projects
NVDG research group

Physical strain, work capacity and mechanisms

of restoration of mobility in the rehabilitation of

individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI)



Lucas van der Woude, PhD (Program Supervision)

Sonja de Groot, PhD (Co-ordination)


Welcome to the English website of the ZON-Rehabilitation program ´Physical strain, work capacity and mechanisms of restoration of mobility in the rehabilitation of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI).´   

This multi-centre & multidisciplinary research program is a strong collaboration between 5 research groups and 8 large SCI-specialized rehabilitation centres in the Netherlands. The program started initially with 5 projects but currently consists of 19 highly complementary  projects, funded by the ZON-Rehabilitation program in collaboration with NWO-Medical Sciences, as well as other smaller third money partners. For a quick overview of the program (information and pictures) you can watch the slide show.

Restoration of mobility during rehabilitation of persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI) is generally directed to a wheelchair bound daily life. SCI implies an acute change from leg to arm work. This has a major impact onto the cardiovascular, respiratory, neuromuscular and skeletal systems, as well as for overall functionality in daily life. A SCI affects physical strain of simple every day activities and the individual work capacity, as well as the opportunities to be functionally mobile in daily life. Many (neuro) physiological and biomechanical changes take place as a mere consequence of SCI or the role of rehabilitation. Little is known of the complex adaptations in the organ systems that are basic to the restoration of mobility. Although with a strong focus on these biomedical issues of mobility, the program does not restrict itself to that. It also addresses mobility issues at the level of function as well as activities and participation.

This research program of 19 interrelated research projects is, therefore, directed to the following main objectives:

1. Development of fundamental and clinical knowledge of adaptations in organ systems and the mechanisms of restoration of mobility from a (neuro)physiological, biomechanical and rehabilitation technology perspective.

2. Development of a knowledge base of the effects of rehabilitation and protocols of physical training on overall work capacity as well as functional progress.

3. Analysis of associations between impairment, disability and handicap in this respect.

4. Understanding of material, physical and process requirements for an optimal restoration of mobility during and after the rehabilitation of patients with SCI.  


For more information about the 19 research projects, click on the project titles on the left side of this webpage.

If you have any further questions, please contact us or any of the other members of the research team.














Sponsors of the project


Lode BV

Sunrise Medical




Contact address

Sonja de Groot / Lucas van der Woude

Center for Human Movement Sciences

University Medical Center Groningen

University of Groningen

Antonius Deusinglaan 1

9713AV Groningen,

The Netherlands