Research

Balancing manual wheelchair stability and ‘ tippiness’ for functional independence. (2005)

Lynne Hills, Occupational Therapy, Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

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There have been many studies measuring the static stability of manual wheelchairs but very little on dynamic stability, or how this relates to static stability. A smaller static tip angle has traditionally indicated reduced wheelchair stability. However, wheelchair users with advanced wheelchair skills can manage this effectively and increase their functional independence. The aim of this project is to measure dynamic functional performance over different terrains typical of everyday use, and make a comparison with the wheelchair user’s indicated static “stability”. For 10 experienced SCI wheelchair users their static stability will be measured using a tilting platform; their dynamic stability determined by measurement of the weight distribution using instrumented front castors; and propulsion forces and acceleration using an instrumented wheel (SmartWheel) during standardised functional tasks.

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