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Van Der Woude L.H.V.,Center for Human Movement science | Van Der Woude L.H.V.,University of Groningen | Vegter R.J.K.,Center for Human Movement science | Hettinga F.J.,Center for Human Movement science | And 5 more authors.
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2011

Objective. To present an ergonomics perspective on manual wheeled mobility and provision, and highlight today's international research on manual wheelchair propulsion in the context of rehabilitation and sports. Major content of paper. Those with lower-limb disabilities are often dependent on manually propelled wheelchairs for their mobility, in Europe today some 3.3 million people. This implies a transfer from leg to arm work for daily ambulation and in all other activities. Compared to the legs, arm work is less efficient and more straining, and allows a considerably lower physical work capacity. Also, there is a major risk of mechanical overuse. Problems of long-term wheelchair use are not only pain or discomfort, but also a risk of physical inactivity. Subsequently, serious secondary impairments (obesity, cardiovascular problems) may eventually emerge. Overuse and disuse in turn may again impact mobility. Results. Continued experimental study and monitoring of the wheelchair usercombination in rehabilitation and sports practice have improved wheelchair quality, fitting and provision, as well as understanding functional mobility over the past decades. Wheelchair quality, including the ergonomic fitting to the individual, plays a preventive role in musculoskeletal overuse as well as disuse or inactivity. In addition, the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of learning, training, rehabilitation, active and sports is proven to be crucial on long term health, functioning and wellbeing. The 'International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability' model, the stress-strain-work capacity model, as well as an ergonomics model that relates human-activity-assistive technology are instrumental to guide research and practice into optimal wheeled mobility. Apart from empirical developments and innovations from within wheelchair sports and industry, systematic ergonomics-oriented research plays a role in wheelchair development and design in three important areas: (1) the vehicle mechanics, (2) the wheelchair-user interface, and (3) the human movement system (skill learning, work capacity). Exemplary research findings and practical developments in hand rim wheelchairs and handcycles are discussed. Conclusion. An increasingly strong research effort over the past decades has provided initial guidelines for wheelchair design and fitting as well as a basic understanding of overuse problems in hand rim wheelchair use. Yet, guidelines for individualized optimization of the wheelchair-user combination and principles of skill acquisition and training are still lacking. © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

Agency: Narcis | Branch: Project | Program: Completed | Phase: Social Sciences | Award Amount: | Year: 1998


Boonstra A.M.,Revalidatie Friesland Center for Rehabilitation | De Vries S.J.,Center for Human Movement science | De Vries S.J.,Saxion University | Veenstra E.,University of Groningen | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Rehabilitation Research | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a practice effect on the Hand Laterality Judgement Task (HLJT). The HLJT task is a mental rotation task that can be used to assess motor imagery ability in stroke patients. Thirty-three healthy individuals performed the HLJT and two control tasks twice at a 3-week interval. Differences in the accuracy and the response times were analysed. The results for all three tasks showed a decrease in the response time between the first and the second assessments (8-20%), and, for the HLJT, also a small (3%) but relevant increase in accuracy. The most likely factor explaining this improvement is that of practice effects. This implies that an improvement in the HLJT scores found over time in clinical research may be partly because of a learning effect, which has to be taken into account when interpreting the results. It is likely that a practice effect occurs in repeated measurements of the HLJT. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Otten E.,Center for Human Movement science | Koopman H.F.J.M.,University of Twente
Assistive Technology Research Series | Year: 2011

Prostheses can be given a certain amount of intelligence. In the past, this was not possible and all solutions were mechanical, both in leg- and arm prostheses. Advantages are that delays are short or absent and that there always is some sensory information of forces that are generated. Presently, micro-processors can be programmed, actuators can be made electronic and batteries can be relatively lightweight. However, as soon as prostheses are equipped with intelligence, two intelligent systems are coupled: the human brain and the micro processor. They are interlinked mechanically by the stump socket and so when response times of both systems are in each others neighborhood, problems are to be expected on the basis of control theory. This is especially true since the human brain is part of a control system that constantly changes its properties. Humans are notorious for changing their interpretation of the task at hand, for instance in the way they handle an obstacle while walking. So in order to successfully design intelligent prostheses, these human properties should be taken into account. We outline several approaches in design and give boundary conditions to make them successful. © 2011 The authors and IOS Press. All rights reserved.

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