An estimated 90% of all wheelchairs are hand-rim propelled, a physically straining form of ambulation that can lead to repetitive strain injuries in the arms and, eventually, to secondary impairments and disability. Further disability in wheelchair-dependent individuals can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and thereby create a greater risk for cardiovascular problems. Studies on lever-propelled and crank-propelled wheelchairs have shown that these propulsion mechanisms are less straining and more efficient than hand-rim-propelled wheelchairs. This article reviews these studies and substantiates that the frequent use of these alternative propulsion mechanisms may help prevent some of the secondary impairments that are seen among today's wheelchair-user population.
|Journal||American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|
van der Woude, L. H. V., Veeger, H. E. J., Dallmeijer, A. J., & Janssen, T. W. J. (2001). Alternative modes of manual wheelchair ambulation: an overview. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 80, 765-778. https://doi.org/10.1097/00002060-200110000-00012