Power Seat Feature Usage among Wheelchair Users in Community Living Conditions

1,2Dan Ding, PhD, 1,2Elizabeth Leister, MS, 1,2Rosemarie Cooper, MPT, ATP, 1,2Annmarie Kelleher, OTR/L, ATP, 1,2Rory A. Cooper, PhD, 1,2Shirley Fitzgerald, PhD, 2,3Michael Boninger, MD

1Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
5044 Forbes Tower, Pittsburgh, PA 15260
2Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
3Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh


This study examined how wheelchair users use power wheelchair seat features such as seat tilt, backrest recline, and seat elevation, during typical daily activities. A Seat Feature Data Logger (SFDL) was attached to 11 subject’s wheelchairs for 10-14 days to gather data regarding daily usage of the wheelchair and these features. The results showed that while subjects did not always use large angles of tilt and recline as many clinicians recommend, these features were used frequently and their use resulted in lower peak pressures. The information collected by the SFDL allows for a novel and quantitative description of the effectiveness and use of power seat features, and can also be used as a clinical compliance tool.


Power Wheelchair, seat feature, seat tilt, backrest recline, seat elevation, pressure relief


The work is supported by PVA 2264-01, and VA Center of Excellence for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering B3142C.

Author Contact Information:

Dan Ding
Human Engineering Research Laboratories
VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System 151R-1,
7180 Highland Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15206


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