A review of wheelchair research within the scope of the wheelchair as a means of daily ambulation is presented. The relevance of a combined biomechanical and physiological research approach is advocated for enhancing the body of knowledge of wheelchair ergonomics, that is, the wheelchair/user interaction in relation to aspects of vehicle mechanics and the user’s physical condition. Results of experiments regarding variations in the wheelchair/user interface stress the possibilities of optimization in terms of wheelchair dimensions and user characteristics. Analysis of propulsion technique is aimed at the within-cycle characteristics and the time-dependent organization of technique.
Request reprints from Dr. Luc H.V. van der Woude, Dept. of Functional Anatomy, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Free University, Van der Boechorststraat 9, 1081BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.