Usage Characteristics of Ultralight Manual Wheelchair Users: During and Post the National Veterans Wheelchair Games

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Michelle L. Tolerico, BS, Dan Ding, PhD, Rory A. Cooper, PhD, Shirley G. Fitzgerald, PhD, Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP, Annmarie Kelleher, MS, OTR/L, ATP, Donald M. Spaeth, PhD, RET, Michael L. Boninger, MD

Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


The purpose of this study was to quantify the usage characteristics of ultralight manual wheelchair users during the National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG) and in their home environment. Fifteen participants completed a demographic survey and had a miniature datalogger (MDL) mounted on their wheelchair. The MDL gathered usage data during the NVWG (7 days) and remained attached for 7 days in their home environment. It was found that the participants were significantly more active in terms of distance (total and average) traveled, starts/stops, and active hours at the NVWG, but traveled at nearly the same speed in both settings. Quantifying the usage patterns not only enables a better understanding of activity levels, but also provides insight to better design wheelchairs that meet the needs of the users.

KEYWORDS: Ultralight; manual wheelchairs; datalogger; usage

Michelle L. Tolerico, BS
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