OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze adaptations in gross mechanical efficiency and wheelchair propulsion technique in novice able-bodied subjects during the initial phase of learning hand-rim wheelchair propulsion.
DESIGN: Nine able-bodied subjects performed three 4-min practice blocks on a wheelchair ergometer. The external power output and velocity of all blocks was, respectively, 0.25 W/kg and 1.11 m/sec. Gross mechanical efficiency, force application, timing, and intercycle variability were measured.
RESULTS: No change in gross mechanical efficiency was found. However, a decrease in push frequency occurred, which was accompanied by an increase in work per cycle and a decrease in percentage push time. The increase in work per cycle was associated with a higher peak torque. No changes in intercycle variability were visible over time.
CONCLUSIONS: The timing variables had already changed during the initial phase of learning manual wheelchair propulsion. However, for other variables, such as force production, gross mechanical efficiency, and intercycle variability, a longer practice period might be necessary to induce a change. The effective force direction seemed to be optimized from the start of the learning process onward.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - Jul-2003|
- Adaptation, Physiological
- Biomechanical Phenomena
- Computer Simulation