Development of a wheelchair propulsion laboratory

Research output: Ph.D. ThesisPhD Research external, graduation external


In rehabilitation, sports, and research, wheelchair users can be tested on a new wheelchair ergometer. That is the most important finding of the thesis “Development of a wheelchair propulsion laboratory”. The Esseda ergometer, a roller system made in Groningen, has been improved and tested in the past few years. The study showed that wheelchair propulsion on the ergometer is comparable to driving overground and that the ergometer is capable of adequately measuring various aspects of wheelchair propulsion. Wheelchair users can be tested on the ergometer in their own personalized wheelchair.
The ergometer can be used to observe people in rehabilitation and other wheelchair users, so that straining techniques can be detected and adjusted in time. This is important because more than half of the wheelchair users suffer from overuse complaints in the arms and shoulders. The wrists, elbows, and shoulder joint are often areas of complaint. This has a major impact on the lives of wheelchair users, because these joints are used in almost all daily tasks. The ergometer can also be of value in adapted sports. For example, the propulsion technique and physical condition of athletes can be studied in detail.
The ergometer can therefore be a valuable addition to the toolset of clinicians, sports coaches, and rehabilitation researchers. By giving the wheelchair ergometer a central place in the wheelchair propulsion lab, the skills of wheelchair users can be improved, wheelchairs can be fitted, and complaints of overload as a result of wheelchair use can be prevented.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
  • van der Woude, Lucas H.V., Supervisor, External person
  • Vegter, Riemer Jakobs K, Supervisor, External person
  • Veeger, DirkJan H E J, Supervisor, External person
Award date17 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • wheelchair
  • propulsion laboratory


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