Volume 49 Number 1, 2012
Pages 63 — 74
Abstract — This article proposes a simple and convenient method for assessing the subject-specific rolling resistance acting on a manual wheelchair, which could be used during the provision of clinical service. This method, based on a simple mathematical equation, is sensitive to both the total mass and its fore-aft distribution, which changes with the subject, wheelchair properties, and adjustments. The rolling resistance properties of three types of front casters and four types of rear wheels were determined for two indoor surfaces commonly encountered by wheelchair users (a hard smooth surface and carpet) from measurements of a three-dimensional accelerometer during field deceleration tests performed with artificial load. The average results provided by these experiments were then used as input data to assess the rolling resistance from the mathematical equation with an acceptable accuracy on hard smooth and carpet surfaces (standard errors of the estimates were 4.4 and 3.9 N, respectively). Thus, this method can be confidently used by clinicians to help users make trade-offs between front and rear wheel types and sizes when choosing and adjusting their manual wheelchair.
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:24 PM