The Importance of Appropriate Sport Wheelchair Configuration
By: Lisa Hilborn
Fostering a love for movement is especially important for young and/or newly injured individuals who use wheelchairs, as it can nurture a lifetime of physical activity for a population that may have limited movement opportunities. Pushing a wheelchair that is not specifically configured to oneself is extremely inefficient. It would be parallel to walking in a sumo suit or playing tennis in goulashes; it certainly does not foster a love for movement.
There are a variety of considerations when configuring a wheelchair that go far beyond seat width and backrest height. Factors that must be carefully contemplated include the use of a rigid or adjustable frame, seating bucket, strapping, sports played, and use of technological advancements.
Considering the vast evolution of wheelchairs during the past decade and a half, the development of sport wheelchairs is in its infancy. Even the stigma that has so often surrounded “the wheelchair” is disappearing with the integration of modern technology and customization.