Researchers of wheelchair propulsion have usually suggested that a wheelchair can be properly designed using anthropometrics to reduce high mechanical load and thus reduce pain and damage to joints. A model based on physiological features and biomechanical principles can be used to determine anthropometric relationships for wheelchair fitting. To improve the understanding of man-machine interaction and the mechanism through which propulsion performance been enhanced, this study develops and validates an energy model for wheelchair propulsion. Kinematic data obtained from ten able-bodied and ten wheelchair-dependent users during level propulsion at an average velocity of 1. m/s were used as the input of a planar model with the criteria of increasing efficiency and reducing joint load. Results demonstrate that for both experienced and inexperienced users, predicted handrim contact forces agree with experimental data through an extensive range of the push. Significant deviations that were mostly observed in the early stage of the push phase might result from the lack of consideration of muscle dynamics and wrist joint biomechanics. The proposed model effectively verified the handrim contact force patterns during dynamic propulsion. Users do not aim to generate mechanically most effective forces to avoid high loadings on the joints.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering