Traditional crutches essentially offload a person’s weight from the injured leg to the upper body, either via the armpits or forearms. This can be uncomfortable and many people simply don’t have the upper body strength to use normal crutches. There have been attempts to design crutches that easier to use, more comfortable, and convenient, but a new concept proposed as part of the Dyson Award takes a whole new approach.
The Sit & Stand is a crutch that uses your butt and thigh as the support. The lower leg is attached to the vertical pole of the crutch, the pole essentially becoming the new leg you can stand on. Moving the upper leg back and forth lets you walk somewhat naturally, as opposed to the skip and jump that you have to learn with traditional crutches. Moreover, the Sit & Stand, as the name implies, can be used while sitting too, the hinge adjusting as necessary.
Here’s the inspiration for the device according to the project’s page at the Dyson Award:
It all started as a class project. The challenge was to design a crutch which performs better than traditional forearm and underarm crutches for young adults with temporary leg injuries. As a part of the class project, I reviewed the evolution of crutches through the time, I interviewed people with the same problem and also as an experiment, I tried to do most of my daily activities as a person with leg injury, using traditional crutches.The results from interviews and the experiment showed that the main problem is related to limitations in the use of hands. So my new challenge was to come up with a solution that enables crutch users to have their hands free, while they could maintain their balance without any problem.
Project page: Sit & Stand…
(hat tip: Gizmodo)