A computerized wheelchair ergometer. Results of a comparison study
Veeger HE, van der Woude LH, Rozendal RH
Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
To determine the validity of propulsion simulation on a stationary wheelchair ergometer, nine male able-bodied subjects performed submaximal exercise tests on the ergometer and on a motor driven treadmill (MDT). Oxygen uptake, ventilation and stroke parameters were equal for both devices, but heart rate was lower and trunk movement was less for the ergometer test. Analysis of forces and power output on the ergometer indicated that power output was equal for both wheels. The ratio between applied forces and the effectively directed force component was approximately 80%. Also a small torque was applied by the hand onto the handrim surface which contributed to the total propulsion torque around the axle. It is concluded that the ergometer is capable of simulation of wheelchair propulsion, although the different trunk motion may necessitate sufficient wheelchair propulsion experience. Force analysis results are discussed.
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