The Effect of Assumed Point of Force Application on the Calculation of Hand Moments During Manual Wheelchair Propulsion

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Bradley G. Impink, Michael L. Boninger, Yusheng Yang, Rory A. Cooper.

Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Deptartment of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
Human Engineering Research Laboratories, Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA


Analysis of mechanical effective force (MEF) is of interest to many researchers investigating the effects of manual wheelchair propulsion. In order to determine the MEF requires knowledge of the tangential force applied to the pushrim. The tangential force can be affected by the hand (or gripping) moment during propulsion. In order to calculate the hand moment, researchers must make assumptions about the point of force application. This paper sought to investigate changes in hand moment due to variation in the location of the point of force application. We found significant changes in hand moment due to movements of only 1 cm of the point of force application. These results show us that based on current methods, hand moments may contain significant error and should be used with caution.


Biomechanics, kinetics, kinematics, wheelchair propulsion

Author Contact Information:

Bradley Impink
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
7180 Highland Drive
Building 4, 2nd Floor, East Wing, 151R-1
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Phone: 412-365-4850