Remapni recently had an enquiry from a physiotherapist in a special school. Sheila has a pupil who wants to use a static exercise bike. The problem is that it is a little big for him, and his feet tend to turn outwards. This causes his heels to catch on the cranks. There are straps on the pedals, but the therapist doesn’t want to use them to pull the pupil’s feet into a position that is awkward for him.
One of our volunteers made a pair of aluminium footplates with heel guards. These would fit on to the pedals, allowing the pupil’s feet to turn outwards and at the same time protect his heels.
Because the exercise bike had to be used by a large number of pupils, ranging from ten years old to adult-sized, it had to be possible for the plates to be fitted and removed quickly and safely by staff with a minimum of training. We decided to clamp the plates rather than bolt them on; this also meant that we would not have to drill holes in the pedals.
For adaptability, we fitted the clamp bolts into slots rather than holes in the soles of the plates. This meant that they could be adjusted for use on different pedals.
At this point we discovered that there is a commercial solution that could be adapted very easily.
James Leckey Ltd makes sandals, as they call them, for use with wheelchairs.
These have a single coach bolt fitting through a slot for attachment to the wheelchair. By fitting a second bolt in the slot, and fitting it with a spacing block the same length as the thickness of the pedal, the sandal could be fitted to the pedal.
Our volunteer fitted one of the sandals and a therapist fitted the other without any further instruction. The senior therapist removed both sandals and refitted them without difficulty.
Remap Northern Ireland