O4 en… - Handbikes

In this ‘O4 and…’ instalment, we tell you more about how our Hoppers can be combined with third-party accessories. This recurring item aims to provide you with a good idea of the many options there are for your O4 wheelchair to provide you with even more wide-ranging support.
This first blog post of the series is all about O4 Wheelchairs and handbikes, a frequently requested modification that increases your wheelchair’s action radius and thus your living environment and your independence!


Why is shock absorption important in wheelchairs?

Anyone in a wheelchair will know what it’s like to ride over cobblestones. The uneven paving, bumps and knocks that you have to endure are not very pleasant. You could even suffer from headaches and neck or back complaints as a result. Just like a car, your wheelchair needs shock absorbers. This is the only way to enjoy a relaxed outdoor ride in your wheelchair.

How do you make a wheelchair hip?

In general, wheelchairs are not a product that you wish to be seen in. This is mainly because of the standard appearance of a wheelchair. Most wheelchairs are colourless, boring and old-fashioned.

Inspiration from nature
That has to change. We are of the opinion that a wheelchair can definitely be made to look hip. It is possible to make a good-looking wheelchair, one that you want to be seen in. Our designer always says: a wheelchair should be an adornment for the body. That’s why the wheelchairs of O4 have a modern and unique design. For a trendy wheelchair we look for natural forms. Nature inspires us to build wheelchairs in round, organic and flowing forms, enabling the wheelchair to shed its old-fashioned character. The colour of the wheelchair is determined by the user.

How important is the weight of a wheelchair?

To be able to take your wheelchair in the car with you easily while you yourself sit somewhere else, the weight of the wheelchair is important. The less weight, the less strenuous it will be for your body to lift the wheelchair in and out of the car. This also means that your wheelchair must be very minimalist. The less material used, the less heavy the wheelchair. However, it is important to ask yourself: Am I losing comfort and stability? Is it not just about the total weight but also about how this weight is distributed?

Can I receive compensation for my wheelchair?

Yes, you can receive compensation for your wheelchair. How much and the conditions for compensation are determined in the Netherlands by the Social Support Act (WMO) or the Personal Care Budget (PGB) that you receive from your health insurer.

If you need advice on requesting compensation and PGB´s, you can ask your occupational therapist and dealer to help you. It is important however that you submit the correct medical arguments. You can request examples of such arguments from our company. It would be advisable to request compensation for your wheelchair together with your dealer.

More information
Germany maintains other rules and regulations for wheelchair compensation. For further information, you can contact the Krankenkasse.

How do you determine the wheel size of your wheelchair?

As with many useful implements, the required size of the product is dependent on the size of the person. Take, for example, a bicycle, tennis racket or a golf stick. There has to be optimum compatibility between the size of the product and the size of the person to ensure the best use. This is also true of wheelchairs and therefore the size of their wheels.

How do you ensure more balance in a wheelchair?

The balance in a wheelchair is determined by the distribution of pressure between the front and rear wheels. Many people ride in wheelchairs with high pressure on the front wheels without tilt safety. Leaning forward can place unnecessary pressure on your intestines and will cause curving of the spine. The wheelchair will also become heavier to manoeuvre and this may damage your shoulders when twisting and turning.

How do you find the correct balance?
The centre of gravity of a seated person lies three centimetres above the navel. It is, therefore, important to have a wheelchair that can be set up and balanced correctly. If the seat can be adjusted relative to the chassis, the wheelchair can be set up so that the majority of the weight is placed on the rear wheels.

What is the best posture in a wheelchair?

There is no such thing as the perfect posture. Your next position is the best one. It is healthier to keep changing your position. We call this 'dynamic sitting'. Dynamic sitting is based on plenty of variation, avoiding long periods of sitting and using every opportunity to vary your posture. To achieve this, you should look for a wheelchair that supports the shape of your body at all times.

What impact does light riding of my wheelchair have on my body?

O4 wheelchairs and weight
At O4, the weight services functionality, adjustability, a light ride and a healthy sitting posture. Extra functions such as permanent backrest adjustment and suspension/shock absorption help to prevent injuries and permanent damage through long sitting.

O4 wheelchairs have the lowest weight whereby injury-free sitting and riding is still possible. In addition to the wheelchair’s riding function, sitting is just as important. The less functions, the lighter the wheelchair, which makes it very handy to transport. But you also want some support, be able to live and work and, in particular, remain full of vitality.