Content » Vol 21, Issue 4

Original report

Wheelchair Propulsion Technique at Different Speeds

H E Veeger, L H van der Woude, R H Rozendal
Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
DOI: 10.2340/165019778921197203


To study wheelchair propulsion technique at different speeds, five well-trained subjects propelled a wheelchair on a treadmill. Measurements were made at four belt speeds of 0. 56-1. 39 m/s and against slopes of 2 and 3 degrees. Cardiorespiratory data were collected. Three consecutive strokes were filmed. Using markers on subject, wheelchair and treadmill frame a kinematic analysis was performed. Considerable inter-individual differences in propulsion style were found, but also general changes relative to speed occurred in the group as a whole. Cycle time decreased with speed, predominantly as the result of a shorter push time while push angle remained constant and the movement ranges of trunk and arms shifted with speed. It is concluded that despite different propulsion styles, general and continuous adaptations to speed changes occurred, mainly by flexion of the trunk and arms.

Lay Abstract


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