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Curb descent testing of suspension manual wheelchairs

Andrew M. Kwarciak, MS, et al.

Figure.Example of 10 cm curb descent.

Manual wheelchair users are regularly exposed to harmful vibrations from rolling over obstacles and uneven surfaces. One way users may protect themselves is by using a suspension manual wheelchair. We investigated the ability of suspension manual wheelchairs to reduce seat vibrations during 5, 10, and 15 cm curb descents. Suspension wheelchairs reduced vibrations during the 5 cm descents, but they became less successful as curb height increased. Though curb descents are specific tasks, they demonstrate the benefits and limitations of the wheelchairs. Consumers and clinicians should consider these results when selecting a wheelchair for everyday use.

Volume 45 Number 1, 2008
   Pages 73 — 84

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