4 September 2017 – A Rotorua physiotherapist has given a glowing review of The Alinker non-motorised walking bike without pedals, launched in New Zealand last month.
Kirsty Walker, a former pro road rider who worked with High Performance NZ at the London Olympics, says the Alinker is the first mobility device in the market that gives a true perception of enablement vs disablement.
“People with physical impairment rapidly lose muscle strength which in turn has a rapid cascading effect of loss of balance, function and independence.
“Up until now the best solution for these people to keep them safe was for them to use a mobility walker.
“This can be a heart breaking step for many especially for those that are young as the visual perception of a “zimmer frame” is you’re disabled and old.”
Walker works at QE Health Wellness and Spa in Rotorua. The leading residential rehabilitation facility recently acquired two Alinkers from Life Unlimited general manager Enterprise William Hughes after the bike’s inventor Barbara Alink visited the spa and was impressed by what she saw.
The Alinkers will be used by a wide range of QE Health’s patients.
Walker says the Alinker’s stable design means that those with balance issues are still safe.
“It is self-propelled meaning it can be used to increase leg strength and improve overall physical condition and it can be used to cover distances similar to what an able bodied person would walk hence becoming a tool for increased independence.
“It’s also a great exercise device for those with arthritic joints. Generally in those with arthritis, load bearing impact exercise capacity is limited due to the stress through the damaged joint.
“Traditionally as physios we look toward water based exercise or stationary bikes for those with arthritic joints. The Alinker adds a new rehab option for this population as it is low impact but allows them to integrate their rehabilitation into everyday life such as using the Alinker to get to the shop and back versus trying to find the time to get to the gym or the pool,” she said.