29th Annual RESNA Conference Proceedings

Effect of Wheelchair Seatback on Propulsion in Experienced Manual Wheelchair Users

Andrew T. Hayes, MS, James J. Abbas, PhD



The effects of a carbon fiber (CF) wheelchair seatback on propulsion performance were evaluated in 21 experienced manual wheelchair users (MWUs) who previously used either the sling upholstery seatback (SL) or an aluminum seatback (AL). Steady-state power output, fraction effective force (FEF), and velocities were measured, along with associated secondary propulsion variables in four tasks: wheeling on a stationary roller, tile, carpet, and an ADA-compliant ramp. A pre-test/post-test design was employed with an intermittent four-week acclimation period to the CF seatback. Benefits in terms of propulsion performance were primarily observed in the SL group and suggested that the CF seatback may improve long-term propulsion performance.


wheelchair seating, propulsion, postural support.


This should be in the right column.