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90% of wheelchair users experience pain from their mobility devices

An international study for the Toyota Mobility Foundation has found that 90% of wheelchair users in the UK, USA, Japan, Brazil and India experience pain from their mobility device.

The research, which has polled wheelchair users in the UK, US, Japan, India and Brazil, found that

  • 89% have experienced pain and discomfort because of their mobility devices
  • 45% experience back pain at least once a day
  • 31% suffer shoulder pain at least once a day
  • 29% have neck pain at least once a day
  • 22% experience constant back pain.

Improvements to mobility devices

The study reveals that almost half (49%) of the number of people who use wheelchairs have needed assistance when travelling, while 43% say they have been unable to find an accessible toilet when they needed one.

Furthermore, 31% of wheelchair users report having to wait for multiple buses or trains to pass before one had space to accommodate them, while 23% say they have been declined entry to public transport.

The survey also found that 30% of wheelchair users say they have felt frustrated because the design of their mobility device felt outdated. Exploring the kinds of improvements that would be most helpful, the top five suggestions it received were devices that allowed wheelchair users to:

  • Move around faster (41%)
  • Perform regular day to day tasks more easily (37%)
  • Feel more relaxed and comfortable with a device that is more natural to use and like an extension of themselves (37%)
  • Feel more confident and able to socialise and meet with friends (34%)
  • Enjoy a sense of spontaneity, freedom and independence (32%)

Help frame the future of mobility devices

People with lower-limb paralysis, around the world, are being encouraged to take part in a global conversation about the types of mobility technology innovations they would like to see, using the hashtag #MyMobilityUnlimited.

To help accelerate improvements, The Toyota Mobility Foundation’s $4 million challenge will drive and reward the development of new personal mobility devices that use intelligent systems and technologies