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Design of an adjustable wheelchair for table tennis participation.

Authors
  • Duvall, Jonathan1, 2
  • Gebrosky, Benjamin2
  • Ruffing, Jeffrey1
  • Anderson, Aaron1
  • Ong, Siew Seang1
  • McDonough, Robert1
  • Cooper, Rory A1, 2
  • 1 Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
  • 2 Human Engineering Research Laboratories, US Department of Veterans Affairs and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
16
Issue
4
Pages
425–431
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2020.1821105
PMID: 32951495
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Physical activity and recreation are very important for people with disabilities and provide benefits for self-esteem, social relationships, employment, rehabilitation, and education. Para Table Tennis is an adaptive sport where participants compete in table tennis while sitting in a wheelchair. However, athletes generally use their everyday wheelchair instead of a device specifically designed for the sport. The specific support, movements, and posture needed to participate in table tennis at the highest level are different than general day-to-day mobility and a device could be optimized for the sport. This research describes the development of a wheelchair specifically designed for para table tennis. The design followed a participatory action design approach which identified the specific needs for a wheelchair to be used during para table tennis. Three design needs were identified which included 1) locking the casters in the forward direction, 2) ability to raise the seat height as high as possible while allowing the user's knees to fit under the table, and 3) adjustable seat angle which will allow some users to have anterior tilt to get their trunk even higher while other users could have posterior tilt for stability. A new chair meeting these needs was designed and prototyped. Para table tennis has some specific requirements related to movements and posture which were improved by a new wheelchair design specific for the sport.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONMany adaptive sports are improved with sport specific technology.A model client was used to develop a wheelchair specifically for adaptive table tennis.The height and angle of the seat of the new wheelchair can be adjusted for optimal stability and reach.The casters of the new wheelchair can be locked to allow only forward and backward motion.

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