An anthropometric study of manual and powered wheelchair users

Department of Industrial Engineering, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 342 Bell Hall, P.O. Box 602050, Buffalo, NY 14260-2050, USA
International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 01/2004; DOI: 10.1016/j.ergon.2003.10.003

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to evaluate the structural anthropometric dimensions of adult wheelchair users as part of a larger project that involved developing a database of the structural characteristics and functional abilities of wheelchair users. Measurements were made on 121 adult manual and powered wheelchair users with an electromechanical probe that registered the three-dimensional locations of 36 body and wheelchair landmarks. Thirty-one body and wheelchair dimensions (e.g., heights, breadths, depths) were calculated from the three-dimensional coordinate data. Tests of distributional normality showed that less than 1/3 of the dimensions were not normally distributed. ANOVA showed significant differences between powered and manual chair users, and women and men for only some of the anthropometric dimensions. The results of this study provide anthropometric information for a small and diverse group of wheelchair users using new measurement methods that may have value for three-dimensional human modeling and CAD applications.Relevance to industryAnthropometric data of wheelchair users can be applied toward the universal design of occupational environments and products that afford greater usability for wheelchair mobile user populations that are usually not considered in the design process.

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