Shoulder EMG activity in three different one arm drive wheelchairs

Lucy Redhead, Anne Mandy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: There is limited research exploring shoulder activity in different one arm drive wheelchairs. OBJECTIVE: To compare EMG activity in six muscles surrounding the shoulder joint during propulsion of three different modified Action3 manual one arm drive wheelchairs. Surface EMG was measured during dynamic propulsion of each wheelchair during propulsion around an indoor obstacle course. METHODS: Seventeen non-disabled users were randomly assigned to each wheelchair in turn. The EMG data was measured using the biometrics data link system v 7.5. Total activity levels for each muscle were calculated per user per wheelchair. RESULTS: The NuDrive produced the highest levels of activity in triceps muscle in straight running and also in biceps and pectoralis major over mats and around corners. The Neater produced the lowest levels of activity in biceps and pectoralis major over mats and around corners. There was no significant difference in activity in the other muscles in the different wheelchairs. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that fatigue could result from propelling certain one arm drive wheelchairs. They will also help to inform clinical decision making in the prescription of wheelchairs in this group. The contribution of findings would support the need to replicate the study in a user population.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalTechnology and Disability
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2015


  • One arm drive wheelchairs
  • EMG
  • shoulder pathology


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