ISS 2017 Program


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PS4.1: Effects of Adjusting Wheelchair Configuration on Ramp Propulsion

Manual wheelchair setup is important for efficient wheelchair propulsion.  When ascending ramps this set up makes the wheelchair more unstable leading to potentially harmful biomechanics. This presentation explores the differences in ramp propulsion biomechanics between four different manual wheelchair configurations, under testing conditions that include three inclines and two speeds.


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this session, attendees will be able to;



Sarah Bass
University of Pittsburgh, Human Engineering Research Laboratory
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States

Sarah is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Science and Technology, with a background in bioengineering. She works at the Human Engineering Research Laboratory and her current research interests involve wheelchair propulsion biomechanics and wheelchair transfers.

Alicia Koontz, RET, ATP
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States



    1. Boninger, M. L., Waters, R. L., Chase, T., Dijkers, M. J., Gellman, H., Gironda, R. J., . . . McDowell, S. (2005). Preservation of upper limb function following spinal cord injury: A clinical practice guideline for healthcare professionals. Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine.
    2. Chow, J. W., Millikan, T. A., Carlton, L. G., Chae, W., Lim, Y., & Morse, M. I. (2009). Kinematic and Electromyographic Analysis of Wheelchair Propulsion on Ramps of Different Slopes for Young Men With Paraplegia. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90(2), 271-278.
    3. Mulroy, S. J., Newsam, C. J., Gutierrez, D. D., Requejo, P., Gronley, J. K., Haubert, L. L., & Perry, J. (2005). Effect of fore-aft seat position on shoulder demands during wheelchair propulsion: Part 1. A kinetic analysis. Journal of Spinal Cord Injury, 28, 214-221.

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