Biomechanical Validation of Upper Extremity Exercise in Wheelchair Users: Design Consideration and Improvements in a Prototype DeviceBy Troy, Karen L.; Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 22-28
Publication Date: January 2011
Study undertaken to (1) develop guidelines for proper exercise execution on a stationary cycle modified for users seated in wheelchairs and to (2) recommend design changes to the device based on biomechanical data and user feedback. A universally designed accessory unit was developed to include upped body exercise in an existing Life Fitness 9500HR stationary cycle. With the modification, wheelchair users can easily approach the cycle from the front and grasp a single straight handlebar with both hands to complete a seated rowing motion. Study participants were 7 manual wheelchair users aged 22 to 50 years, of whom 4 were women. Participants were instructed on proper exercise technique with the device. Kinematics and kinetics of the dominant upper limb and trunk were measured with motion capture and electromyography data were collected on selected muscles. All participants were able to perform the exercise bouts; however, achieved exercise intensity varied widely. The mean power of exercise was 21.3 watts (SD 7.1 watts). Participants did not keep the elbows close to the trunk during the drive phase of the row; rather, they moved from a mean 75 degree (SD 12 degrees) shoulder flexion to a mean 62 degree (SD 11 degrees) shoulder abduction. User-identified problems included difficulty gripping the hand grips and user stability within the wheelchair. Based on study results, the author recommends the accessory unit should be adjustable to accommodate a wide range of user sizes and ability; also, proper exercise execution is deemed important to maximize the potential benefit and minimize risk of injury.
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Limited (Website:http://taylorandfrancis.org)
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.isprm.org )