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Dynamic stiffness and transmissibility of commercially available wheelchair cushions using a laboratory test method

Garcia-Mendez, Y and Pearlman, JL and Cooper, RA and Boninger, ML (2012) Dynamic stiffness and transmissibility of commercially available wheelchair cushions using a laboratory test method. Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 49 (1). 7 - 22. ISSN 0748-7711

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Evidence suggests that wheelchair (WC) users are exposed to unhealthy levels of vibration during WC use. Health risks associated with vibration exposure include vertebral disc degeneration and back pain, which may consequently decrease the function and independence of WC users. Some evidence suggests that the cushions used in WCs may amplify vibrations, although conclusive evidence has not been presented in the literature. This study evaluated and compared the transmissibility of commercially available WC cushions with two laboratory test methods: (1) direct measurement of transmissibility while human subjects propelled a WC over a road course with different cushions and (2) characterization of cushions with a material testing system (MTS) combined with mathematical models of the apparent mass of the human body. Results showed that although dynamic characterization of WC cushions is possible with an MTS, the results did not correlate well with the transmissibility obtained in the WC road course. Significant differences were found for transmissibility among the cushions tested, with the air-based cushions having lower transmissibility than the foam- or gel-based cushions.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Garcia-Mendez, Y
Pearlman, JLjpearlman@pitt.eduJLP460000-0003-0830-9136
Boninger, MLboninger@pitt.eduBONINGER
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Human Engineering Research Laboratories
Date: 7 March 2012
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development
Volume: 49
Number: 1
Page Range: 7 - 22
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1682/jrrd.2011.02.0023
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science and Technology
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0748-7711
MeSH Headings: Durable Medical Equipment; Energy Transfer; Equipment Design; Female; Human Engineering--methods; Humans; Low Back Pain--etiology; Male; Materials Testing; Models, Theoretical; Pressure Ulcer--prevention & control; Vibration--adverse effects; Wheelchairs
PubMed ID: 22492334
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2012 16:06
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2019 03:55


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