Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Kinesiology



First Advisor

Mark D Ricard


The relationship between functional capacity and trunk control is of significant interest to a variety of people, from wheelchair sport clinicians and professionals to rehab specialists, but has proven difficult to quantify. This project utilizes a “Volume of Action” framework to observe trunk function in both static and dynamic conditions across a functional spectrum using the functional classification system employed in wheelchair basketball. Study 1 (chapter 2) examines the role of functional capacity in a static environment using a Volume of Action framework using a seated limits of stability test to examine functional limitations in wheelchair users across a functional spectrum. This investigation stratified wheelchair users into two groups using the functional classification system used in wheelchair basketball, and observed functional differences in the limits of stability in three planes of movement. Study 2 (chapter 3) went one step further to observe how wheelchair users use their trunk to brake their wheelchair. It is well documented that wheelchair users actively use their trunk to propel their wheelchair, but no known research has been conducted on how wheelchair users use their trunk to come to a complete stop. Study 2 examined 8 wheelchair users using motion capture technology to determine movements patterns leading up to and during the action of bringing their wheelchair to an abrupt stop at high speeds. The findings of these studies provide insight into the role that functional capacity plays in the strategies that manual wheelchair users utilize to maintain balance statically and dynamically. These results provide insight for wheelchair designers and wheelchair sport athletes and professionals into the role that functional capacity plays in maintaining balance under static and dynamic conditions. Future investigations should examine the role of sport wheelchair configuration in this relationship between functional capacity and postural control. Additionally, future models should be developed to provide a more complete picture of the pelvis during wheelchair propulsion.


Wheelchair, Trunk function, Limits of stability, Balance, Braking, Angular momentum


Kinesiology | Life Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Kinesiology Commons