Volume 44 Number 3 2007
Pages 459 — 466

Abstract - Effects of camber on wheeling efficiency in the experienced and inexperienced wheelchair user

Angeliki Perdios, MSc;1* Bonita J. Sawatzky, PhD;2 A. William Sheel, PhD1

1School of Human Kinetics and 2Department of Orthopaedics, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Abstract — The objective of this study was to determine whether energy costs differed between 0, 3, and 6 of camber during steady state overground wheeling. Three subject groups were examined: experienced wheelchair users with disabilities (thoracic lesion level 6 and below), nondisabled individuals with manual wheeling experience, and nondisabled individuals with no manual wheeling experience. Heart rate, rating of perceived exertion, visual analog scale for comfort, and a user preference questionnaire were collected for all subjects. Expired gas analysis data were collected for the group with disabilities. No statistically significant differences emerged in respiratory measures for camber angle or group. A camber of 6 degrees was most preferred in terms of stability on a side slope, hand comfort on the pushrims, maneuverability, and overall preference. Rear-wheel camber angle did not affect the energy expenditure of manual wheelchair propulsion, as measured by cardiopulmonary means. The individual manual wheelchair user's perceived level of comfort should be the determining factor in rear-wheel camber selection.

Key words: adult, camber, efficiency, heart rate, oxygen consumption, paraplegia, physiology, rehabilitation, spinal cord injury, wheelchair, wheeling.

go to Contents Page for Volume 43, No 4
go to HTML version of this article
go to PDF version of this article