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Analysis of vibrations induced during wheelchair propulsion

Vansickle, DP and Cooper, RA and Boninger, ML and Digiovine, CP (2001) Analysis of vibrations induced during wheelchair propulsion. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 38 (4). 409 - 421. ISSN 0748-7711

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Little is known about how dynamic acceleration affects wheelchair-rider comfort. The current study was to test both the operation of an instrumented wheelchair by a wheelchair user over a Simulated Road Course (SRC) and the operation of the same instrumented wheelchair during normal daily activities (a field test) by test subjects. Sixteen subjects participated in the protocol. A SRC allowed collection of data from wheelchair users traversing obstacles similar to those experienced by a typical wheelchair user. The SRC consisted of eight obstacles fixed rigidly to a flat concrete surface. The field test began after the conclusion of the SRC test. Transfer functions were derived for all 16 subjects. It is clear from the results that for the SRC, the acceleration at the wheelchair frame exceeded the 8-h "fatigue-decreased performance boundary." A vertical acceleration resonant peak was evident for eight of the subjects. The average for these peaks, when present, was 8.1 Hz. This frequency is higher than the 4-6 Hz resonant peak presented in the literature for a seated human subject. This discrepancy could be due to different levels of trunk control between wheelchair users in this study and ambulatory subjects used in the literature. Subjects and their wheelchairs were exposed to a few, high-acceleration events rather than consistent, small-magnitude accelerations during the field test. This study indicates that vibration may be a contributing factor to fatigue among manual wheelchair users, which could lead to injury.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Vansickle, DP
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER
Digiovine, CP
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 1 December 2001
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Volume: 38
Number: 4
Page Range: 409 - 421
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0748-7711
MeSH Headings: Acceleration--adverse effects; Biomechanics; Humans; Models, Theoretical; Sensitivity and Specificity; Spinal Cord Injuries--rehabilitation; Spinal Dysraphism--rehabilitation; Statistics as Topic; Vibration; Wheelchairs
PubMed ID: 11563494
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 20:54
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 03:55


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