Comparison between Overground and Dynamometer Propulsion in Manual Wheelchair Users

Lynn Worobey, BS, Alicia Koontz, PhD, RET, Ian Rice, MS, Jennifer Collinger, BS, Michael L Boninger, MD

Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Center for Excellence for Wheelchairs and Associated Rehabilitation Engineering, Highland Drive VA Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA


Manual wheelchair propulsion is studied both overground and on simulators. The goal of this study was to evaluate the similarities and differences between the two types of testing environments. We found significantly higher forces and moments on the dynamometer for all but the medial lateral component of force. These differences are attributed to a higher rolling resistance on the dynamometer. A high correlation was found for user biomechanics between the simulator and natural surfaces. Regression models were used to predict overground propulsion based on dynamometer performance.


overground propulsion, dynamometer, correlation


This material is based upon work supported by the National Institutes of Health (Grant Number: 1 R03 HD049735-01A1). This material is the result of work supported with resources and the use of facilities at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Lynn Worobey, 401-741-5163, Human Engineering Research Laboratories, 7180 Highland Dr., 151R1-H, Pittsburgh, PA 15206