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Walking sticks and canes.

    Having observed a wide range of people using walk sticks with varying degrees of success; I decided that I would try to come up with a stick that is an improvment over existing designs.

    I chose to take a scientific approach and sourced research material that would help me in the design process.  I soon found that most generic walking stick designs have been around for many years and are simply copies of earlier designs. I also found that a lot of advertised 'ergonomic' improvements were simply gimmicks that added very little or nothing to the overall effectiveness of the sticks or comfort of the user.

    The key factors considered in the design process were to produce something that would be generically suitable for most users; whilst at the same time still retaining the ability, if necessary, to make minor alterations to the stick during the assembly process so that a better fitting product could be provided to an individual user. Good quality parts should be easily available.

The sticks needed to be constructed in a manner that allowed the downward force to be applied centrally through the shaft (to ensure maximum stability), have handles that distributed pressure over as large an area of the hand as possible, and have some effective shock absorbing capability.

   The results are two designs for general use which have to be 'fitted' to the customer - badly fitted sticks can effect posture and lead to unintended consequences such as wrist, shoulder and back pain. Many users purchase cheap, 'off the shelf' adjustable sticks and set them up incorrectly. My sticks are not user adjustable and therefore have a bespoke element to them - they have to be produced to order.

    My 'cane' style, general purpose walking stick has an aluminium shaft and a ball knob to fill the palm of the hand, it also incorporates a shock absorbing system based upon the novel use©️ of some standard industrial components. 

    My other product resembles a 'ski stick', again uses an aluminium shaft, has a large tubular handle, and shock absorbing system©️ - this stick is better suited for those with more serious balance and posture issues.

  Martin Swan 2020

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