Impact of Surface Type, Wheelchair Weight, and Axle Position on Wheelchair Propulsion by Novice Older AdultsBy Cowan, Rachel E.; Nash, Mark S.; Collinger, Jennifer L.; Koontz, Alicia M.; Boninger, Michael L.; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 90, No. 7, pp. 1076-1083
Publication Date: July 2009
Study examined the impact of surface type, wheelchair weight, and rear-axle position on older adult propulsion biomechanics. Study participants were 53 ambulatory adults, 20 men and 33 women, ranging in age from 65 to 87 years who reported minimal wheelchair experience. Three TiLite Model X titanium folding chairs secured for the study were configured as follows: (1) unweighted chair with an anterior axle position, (2) 9.05-kilogram weighted chair with an anterior axle position, (3) unweighted chair with a posterior axle position, and (4) 9.05-kilogram weighted chair with a posterior axle position. The weight added simulated the weight difference between very light and depot wheelchairs. Instrumented wheels measured propulsion kinetics. Participants propelled the 4 different wheelchair configurations over 4 surfaces: tile, low carpet, high carpet, and an 8-percent grade ramp, with surface and chair order randomized. Results showed decreased velocity as surface rolling resistance or chair weight increased. Peak resultant and tangential forces increased as chair weight increased, as surface resistance increased, and with a posterior axle position. The effect of a posterior axle position was greater on high carpet and ramp. The effect of weight was constant, but was more easily observed on high carpet and ramp. The effects of axle position and weight were independent of one another. The study concludes that the greatest reductions in peak resultant force will be obtained by securing the lightest possible wheelchair and then shifting the axle as far forward as tolerated by the client.
Assistive Products Discussed: TILITE X & TISPORT FOLDING CHAIRS
Published by: W.B. Saunders Company, a division of Elsevier Health Sciences (Website:http://us.elsevierhealth.com)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.aapmr.org/ )
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.acrm.org )
Link to text: http://www.archives-pmr.org/article/S0003-9993(09)00278-0/abstract