Determining and Controlling External Power Output During Regular Handrim Wheelchair Propulsion

Rick de Klerk, Riemer J K Vegter, Marika T Leving, Sonja de Groot, DirkJan H E J Veeger, Lucas H V van der Woude

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The use of a manual wheelchair is critical to 1% of the world's population. Human powered wheeled mobility research has considerably matured, which has led to improved research techniques becoming available over the last decades. To increase the understanding of wheeled mobility performance, monitoring, training, skill acquisition, and optimization of the wheelchair-user interface in rehabilitation, daily life, and sports, further standardization of measurement set-ups and analyses is required. A crucial stepping-stone is the accurate measurement and standardization of external power output (measured in Watts), which is pivotal for the interpretation and comparison of experiments aiming to improve rehabilitation practice, activities of daily living, and adaptive sports. The different methodologies and advantages of accurate power output determination during overground, treadmill, and ergometer-based testing are presented and discussed in detail. Overground propulsion provides the most externally valid mode for testing, but standardization can be troublesome. Treadmill propulsion is mechanically similar to overground propulsion, but turning and accelerating is not possible. An ergometer is the most constrained and standardization is relatively easy. The goal is to stimulate good practice and standardization to facilitate the further development of theory and its application among research facilities and applied clinical and sports sciences around the world.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number156
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • biomechanical phenomena
  • calibration
  • electric power supplies
  • exercise test
  • mensen
  • rolstoelen


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