Exercise is important for 21-year-old Daniel because he has low muscle tone, but he also has poor balance and walking on the street is difficult for him.
A walking treadmill seemed to be the answer, and the whole family enjoyed using it, but it turned out to have its limitations for Daniel. He was unable to turn his hands at the 90º angle necessary to grip the handlebars, so he held the crossbar next to the control panel. This meant his feet were hitting the plastic plate protecting the motor at the front of the treadmill and damaging it.
Daniel’s mother Kelly asked TAD for help to make a new handlebar which would suit Daniel’s needs but would not make the treadmill unusable for the rest of the family.
Volunteer Bill Youll made a new handle that sits 185mm to the rear of the original crossbar. It is made from 25mm aluminium tube with a 4mm thick wall and covered with sponge rubber tubing. This creates a 33mm diameter hand grip, which Bill says ‘is a comfortable size to hold’.
To mount the new handle, Bill used 8mm aluminium rod to make two hooks which he slid onto the existing crossbar. He drilled two holes 580mm apart in the crosspiece to take the hooks and fitted them on either side of the tube with wingnuts.
Daniel flips the handle forwards when he wants to use the treadmill, and it provides stability for him and moves him back so his feet are not hitting the plastic plate. When other family members want to exercise, they swing the handle back over the control panel out of the way.
Kelly says she is very happy with the TAD’s efforts. ‘I was delighted with the service and the kindness, thoroughness, professionalism and warmth of the gentleman who made and fitted the cross-bar,’ she said. Thank you very much.’