Start-Up Propulsion Biomechanics Using a Prototype Ergonomic Pushrim

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Yusheng Yang, MA, Alicia M. Koontz, PhD, John Kanaly, BS,
Michael L. Boninger MD, Rory A. Cooper, PhD.

Dept. of Rehab. Science and Technology,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Human Engineering Research Laboratories,
Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA


Ergonomic design of a pushrim may improve wheelchair propulsion performance. To evaluate the possible benefits of a prototype ergonomic pushrim design, nine manual wheelchair users conducted a start-up propulsion trial while using their own standard pushrim (SP) and the prototype ergonomic pushrim (NEP). Biomechanics data were compared between start-up and steady-state phases of the trial. The results showed that the NEP minimized hand gripping moments (p<0.05) with having similar propulsive power output as the SP at both phases. This finding suggests that using the NEP may reduce potential secondary injuries to the hand.


KEYWORDS: Steady-state; Acceleration; Propulsion

YuSheng Yang
Human Engineering Research Labs
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: (412) 365-4850
Fax: (412) 365-4858