Manual wheelchair propulsion and skills in people with spinal cord injuries

study logo - wheel
Researcher(s): Dr. Bonita Sawatzky

Do you want to know how well you wheel?

  • Do you use a manual wheelchair for your day-to-day mobility?
  • Are you between 6 and 65 years of age?
  • Do you use 22”, 24” or 25” wheels on your wheelchair?

Dr. Bonita Sawatzky and Megan MacGillivray are conducting a study to determine the relationship between wheelchair skills and manual wheeling characteristics.

Many manual wheelchair users will eventually experience shoulder pain as a result of overuse injuries. It is believed that wheeling strategy and the ability to properly perform skills plays a role in whether or not a manual wheelchair user will experience shoulder pain. We would like to evaluate your wheelchair skills and study how you wheel with respect to forces applied to the wheelchair and other wheeling characteristics including your speed and the frequency that you push at.

If you are interested in participating in this study, you will come to ICORD at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre for 1 testing session lasting approximately one hour. You will complete a wheelchair skills course and wheel on different surfaces using a special “Smart wheel” attached to your wheelchair. At the end of the testing session you will be given a report of your results to take home.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please call the project coordinator, Megan at 604.675.8856 or

Email: or Dr. Bonita Sawatzky

Principal Investigator: Dr. Bonita Sawatzky