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Longitudinal assessment of vibrations during manual and power wheelchair driving over select sidewalk surface

Erik Wolf, PhD, et al.

image of a power wheelchair user

Individuals seated for long periods of time when exposed to vibration, such as wheelchair users, are at risk of injury and pain. However, few studies have reported the vibration levels manual wheelchair users experience, and even fewer have reported the levels power wheelchair users experience. Ten nondisabled subjects propelled over nine different sidewalk surfaces in a manual wheelchair and a powered wheelchair in 3 consecutive years. Vibration data were collected at the seat and the footrest. One surface was a standard poured concrete sidewalk, and the others were concrete or brick pavers of varying bevels. We found significant differences between surfaces and years for both the manual and power wheelchairs. The results clearly show that many of the surfaces are just as good if not better than the standard poured concrete surface at reducing the amount of vibration transmitted to wheelchair users.


Volume 44 Number 4 2007
Pages 573 — 580


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