The Effect of Seat Position on Wheelchair Propulsion Biomechanics
This study examined the effect of seat position on handrim biomechanics. Thirteen experienced users propelled a wheelchair over a smooth level floor at a self-selected speed. Kinetic and temporal-distance data were collected with the use of an instrumented rim and a motion analysis system. A custom-designed axle was used to change the seat position. We used repeated measures analysis of variance to evaluate if differences existed in the temporal-distance and kinetic data with change in seat position. Results showed that a shorter distance between the axle and shoulder (low seat height) improved the push time and push angle temporal variables (p < 0.0001). Tangential force output did not change with seat position. Axial and radial forces were highest in the lowest seat position (p < 0.001). Propulsion efficiency as measured by the fraction of effective force did not significantly change with seat position.
Kotajarvi, Brian R.; Sabick, Michelle B.; An, Kai-Nan; Zhao, Kristin D.; Kaufman, Kenton R.; and Basford, Jeffrey R.. (2004). "The Effect of Seat Position on Wheelchair Propulsion Biomechanics". Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, 41(3B), 403-414.