Wheeled Mobility Table 7 Wheelchair Tire Pressure

Author Year
Research Design
Total Sample Size





Sawatzky et al. 2005
Repeated Measures
NInitial=17; NFinal=14

Population: Mean age=35.3 yr; Gender: males=11, females=3; Level of injury: paraplegia=17.
Treatment: Propulsion of personal wheelchair over a linoleum floor at a preferred speed for 8 minutes with 4 different tire pressures (100, 75, 50, 25 psi).
Outcome Measures: Energy expenditure; Heart rate-Polar heart monitor; Oxygen consumption-Cosmed K4 oxygen system; Distance traveled.
  1. When tires were deflated to 50 and 25 psi, there was an increase in energy expenditure (p<0.01 and p<0.001, respectively).
  2. The decrease in pressure indicated a 12.2% (50psi) and 24.1% (25psi) increase in energy used.
  3. A correlation was found between heart rate and oxygen consumption (r=0.74). Higher lesions had a lower correlation (above T6, r=0.55), than lower lesions (below T6, r=0.82).