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Hiremath S.V.,Human Engineering Research Laboratories | Ding D.,University of Pittsburgh
Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine | Year: 2011

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of SenseWear® (SW) and RT3 activity monitors (AMs) in estimating energy expenditure (EE) in manual wheelchair users (MWUs) with paraplegia for a variety of physical activities. Methods: Twenty-four subjects completed four activities including resting, wheelchair propulsion, arm-ergometry exercise, and deskwork. The criterion EE was measured by a K4b2 portable metabolic cart. The EE estimated by the SW and RT3 were compared with the criterion EE by the absolute differences and absolute percentage errors. Intraclass correlations and the Bland and Altman plots were also used to assess the agreements between the two AMs and the metabolic cart. Correlations between the criterion EE and the estimated EE and sensors data from the AMs were evaluated. Results: The EE estimation errors for the AMs varied from 24.4 to 125.8% for the SW and from 22.0 to 52.8% for the RT3. The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between the criterion EE and the EE estimated by the two AMs for each activity and all activities as a whole were considered poor with all the ICCs smaller than 0.75. Except for deskwork, the EE from the SW was more correlated to the criterion EE than the EE from the RT3. Conclusion: The results indicate that neither of the AMs is an appropriate tool for quantifying physical activity in MWUs with paraplegia. However, the accuracy of EE estimation could be potentially improved by building new regression models based on wheelchair-related activities. © The Academy for Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, Inc. 2011. Source

Yang Y.-S.,Kaohsiung Medical University | Koontz A.M.,Human Engineering Research Laboratories | Koontz A.M.,University of Pittsburgh | Yeh S.-J.,Chung Ho Memorial Hospital | Chang J.-J.,Kaohsiung Medical University
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation | Year: 2012

Effect of backrest height on wheelchair propulsion biomechanics for level and uphill conditions. Objective: To evaluate the effect of backrest height on wheelchair propulsion kinematics and kinetics. Design: An intervention study with repeated measures. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Convenience sample included manual wheelchair users (N=36; 26 men and 10 women) with spinal cord injuries ranging from T8 to L2. Intervention: Participants propelled on a motor-driven treadmill for 2 conditions (level and slope of 3°) at a constant speed of 0.9m/s while using in turn a sling backrest fixed at 40.6cm (16in) high (high backrest) and a lower height set at 50% trunk length (low backrest). Main Outcome Measures: Cadence, stroke angle, peak shoulder extension angle, shoulder flexion/extension range of motion, and mechanical effective force. Results: Pushing with the low backrest height enabled greater range of shoulder motion (P<.01), increased stroke angle (P<.01), push time (P<.01), and reduced cadence (P=.01) regardless of whether the treadmill was level or sloped. Conclusions: A lower cadence can be achieved when pushing with a lower backrest, which decreases the risk of developing upper-limb overuse related injuries. However, postural support, comfort, and other activities of daily living must also be considered when selecting a backrest height for active, long-term wheelchair users. The improvements found when using the low backrest were found regardless of slope type. Pushing uphill demanded significantly higher resultant and tangential force, torque, mechanical effective force, and cadence. © 2012 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Source

De Luigi A.J.,Georgetown University | Cooper R.A.,Human Engineering Research Laboratories
PM and R | Year: 2014

With the technologic advances in medicine and an emphasis on maintaining physical fitness, the population of athletes with impairments is growing. It is incumbent upon health care practitioners to make every effort to inform these individuals of growing and diverse opportunities and to encourage safe exercise and athletic participation through counseling and education. Given the opportunities for participation in sports for persons with a limb deficiency, the demand for new, innovative prosthetic designs is challenging the clinical and technical expertise of the physician and prosthetist. When generating a prosthetic prescription, physicians and prosthetists should consider the needs and preferences of the athlete with limb deficiency, as well as the functional demands of the chosen sporting activity. The intent of this article is to provide information regarding the current advancements in the adaptive sports technology and biomechanics in the field of prosthetics, and to assist clinicians and their patients in facilitating participation in sporting activities. © 2014 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Source

Cooper R.A.,Human Engineering Research Laboratories | De Luigi A.J.,Georgetown University
PM and R | Year: 2014

Wheelchair sports are an important tool in the rehabilitation of people with severe chronic disabilities and have been a driving force for innovation in technology and practice. In this paper, we will present an overview of the adaptive technology used in Paralympic sports with a special focus on wheeled technology and the impact of design on performance (defined as achieving the greatest level of athletic ability and minimizing the risk of injury). Many advances in manual wheelchairs trace their origins to wheelchair sports. Features of wheelchairs that were used for racing and basketball 25 or more years ago have become integral to the manual wheelchairs that people now use every day; moreover, the current components used on ultralight wheelchairs also have benefitted from technological advances developed for sports wheelchairs. For example, the wheels now used on chairs for daily mobility incorporate many of the components first developed for sports chairs. Also, advances in manufacturing and the availability of aerospace materials have driven current wheelchair design and manufacture. Basic principles of sports wheelchair design are universal across sports and include fit; minimizing weight while maintaining high stiffness; minimizing rolling resistance; and optimizing the sports-specific design of the chair. However, a well-designed and fitted wheelchair is not sufficient for optimal sports performance: the athlete must be well trained, skilled, and use effective biomechanics because wheelchair athletes face some unique biomechanical challenges. © 2014 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Source

Collinger J.L.,Human Engineering Research Laboratories
PM & R : the journal of injury, function, and rehabilitation | Year: 2011

Rehabilitation engineers apply engineering principles to improve function or to solve challenges faced by persons with disabilities. It is critical to integrate the knowledge of biologics into the process of rehabilitation engineering to advance the field and maximize potential benefits to patients. Some applications in particular demonstrate the value of a symbiotic relationship between biologics and rehabilitation engineering. In this review we illustrate how researchers working with neural interfaces and integrated prosthetics, assistive technology, and biologics data collection are currently integrating these 2 fields. We also discuss the potential for further integration of biologics and rehabilitation engineering to deliver the best technologies and treatments to patients. Engineers and clinicians must work together to develop technologies that meet clinical needs and are accessible to the intended patient population. Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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