29th Annual RESNA Conference Proceedings

Manual Wheelchair Tippiness in People with Recent Spinal Cord Injury

Martin Ferguson-Pell, PhD, Lynne Hills MBOT, Lone Rose MCSP, Fred Middleton MD, Zillah Bloomer MSc, MCSP, Graham Nicholson PhD


The static stability or "tippiness" of wheelchairs tested by a convenience sample of 19 newly discharged, manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury was determined using a tilt platform and force transducers placed beneath the wheels. The participants were tested in their current wheelchair provided by NHS Wheelchair Services, and a control wheelchair (Quickie GPV) optimized for posture and stability by experienced seating specialists. Data was collected to determine the critical angle of backwards tilt of the platform and the position of the center of mass of the user determined from the force transducer measurement. The users' own chair had an average weight distribution of 29% on the front castors and 71 % on the rear wheels (s.d. 9%) and the control chair, 21% on the front castors and 79% on the rear wheels (s.d. 6%). This had the effect of significantly changing the chair tippiness (P<0.01) both with hands on the lap and hand on the rims, as if about to do a first push. Using linear regression analysis it was possible to produce an equation to estimate the tip angle knowing only the wheel weight distribution


Manual-wheelchair, stability, tippiness

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