Characteristics of the Manual Wheelchair Propulsive Stroke Under Fatigue Conditions

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Ian Rice, Michael L. Boninger, Alicia M. Koontz Rory A. Cooper,

Dept. of Rehab. Science and Technology,
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Human Engineering Research Laboratories,
Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA


The purpose of this study was to examine stroke characteristics during manual wheelchair propulsion and the extent to which fatigue may alter propulsion biomechanics. E ight individuals with paraplegia pushed their manual wheelchairs at a steady state speed of 3 mph for 10 minutes while kinetic data were recorded at the beginning and end of the 10 minute trial. Subjects showed a decrease in average velocity (p=.044) while peak resultant forces increased when velocity was entered as a co variant (p=.053). These findings suggest that when these individuals became fatigued they used larger, potentially injuries forces to propel at a slower velocity.


wheelchair propulsion, biomechanics, velocity, peak resultant force


Ian Rice
Human Engineering Research Labs
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Phone: (412) 365-4850
Fax: (412) 365-4858