The effect of differences in powered wheelchair joystick shape on subjective and objective operability

Soichiro Koyama, Tsuyoshi Tatemoto, Nobuhiro Kumazawa, Shigeo Tanabe, Yuki Nakagawa, Yohei Otaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Various-shaped joysticks steer electric-powered wheelchairs (EPWs); however, an operability evaluation has not been fully conducted. This study evaluated the subjective and objective operability of various-shaped joysticks in 22 younger and 22 older adults. Participants operated an EPW on an experimental course using nine different-shaped joysticks, before ranking each joystick by their operability (1 = best, 9 = worst) as a primary outcome. Movement time (MT) and driving accuracy (DA) were also measured. Despite no significant differences in the primary outcome between joysticks, the I-shaped joystick with rounded tips (neutral grip) was ranked higher than the others. MT did not differ between joysticks, but DA was higher for the thin-columnar I-shaped joystick (pinch grip) than for the U- and T-shaped joysticks (pronated grip). MT and DA scores for young adults were significantly better than those for older adults. Further studies should be conducted to clarify possible factors related to EPW operability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103920
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 02-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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