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Practical matters How to find us prof. L.H.V. (Lucas) van der Woude
University Medical Center Groningen

prof. L.H.V. (Lucas) van der Woude

Professor Human Movement, Rehabilitation & Functional Recovery
prof. L.H.V. (Lucas) van der Woude

As off May 1st 2020, Prof Han Houdijk has stepped into my footsteps as professor in Clinical Human Movement Sciences and as chair of the accent Rehabilitation of Human Movement Sciences at UMCG. He can be reached at I will be available for the Human Movement Sciences department of the UMCG for one day a week. On that day I will continue to co-supervise the PhDs that are under my responsibility.


Currently, within the context of wheeled mobility two externally funded ZonMw projects are running: (1) ALLRISC, Active LifestyLe  Rehabilitation Interventions in aging Spinal Cord injury, - a Fonds NutsOhra funded - multicenter collaborative clinical rehabilitation research project on health, active lifestyle, fitness and quality of life in the aging person with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). This program contains 4 complementary PhD projects that are conducted the SCIONN network, a clinical research collaboration of 8 SCI specialized rehabilitation centers (RCs Beatrixoord, Reade, Heliomare, Rijndam, De Hoogstraat, Adelante, Roessingh, St Maartenskliniek) and 5 academic research units. (2) WHEEL-I is a 1-yr innovation project in which a systematic analysis of the use of the Optipush measurement wheel in the provison of hand rim wheelchairs and the learning of wheeled propulsion in the early phase of SCI rehabilitation is conducted. ALLRISC and WHEEL-I are supervised by drs Sonja de Groot and Lucas van der Woude. ALLRISC provides CHS-UMCG with a PhD project (Jan der Scheer) on the effects of low-intensity handrim wheelchair training on the mechanical loading of the shoulder. Lucas van der Woude is involved in various PhD projects within different local, national and international collaborations. See below for an overview. ALLRISC was formally concluded mid 2015 and currently has provided four successful PhD thesis documents: Arjan Bakkum (2014), Jan van der Scheer(2015), Riemer Vegter (2015) and Jacinthe Adriaansen (2016). Recently, under the leadership of Riemer Vegter a ZonMw grant was obtained for 2 PhDs and a postdoc (per 1-1-2020) on WheelPower, a collaboration among UMCG/UoG, TUDelft, VU, University of Applied Sciences The Hague, NOCxNSF and wheelchair sports'associations in the Netherlands. In WheelPower wheel research in the lab and in the field of wheelchair sports and data science push wheeled performance to the limit.


The physiology and biomechanics of handcycling were studied in previous PhD work of Linda Valent and Ursina Arnet, respectively. Following this and all the work in ALLRISC and the Umbrella project new initiatives on a lifelong rehabilitation paradigm have been developed around handcycling. This led to the HandbikeBattle (HBB), an annual handbike event that takes the participants up a 21km slope in the Austrian Kaunertal. It is preceded by a training period of 6 months where each individual participant is a member of team in one of the Dutch centers for rehabilitation. From the start of the HBB measurements of physical and mental fitness and training effort have been acquired among others. As off October 2016 Ingrid Kouwijzer is appointed as a PhD for the HBB, funded by Revalidatiefonds, Stichting HBB, RC Heliomare and UMCG.   She succesfully defended her PhD on 18-1-2021 at University of Groningen.



Together with Dr Rienk Dekker of  the Center for Rehabilitation UMCG, the Northern Expert Center for Movement, Sports & Handicap (NESH) was initiated. NESH should provide a well accessible information, advise, clinical, educational and research center for people with a disability who are or want to become physically active in daily life and/or sports. Together with the Hanze Hogeschool and the UCSBG, the center should provide expert knowledge, skills and practical tools to accomodate and improve a physically active lifestyle or sports career, while the research facilities allow the development and dissimination of new knowledge into the field of handicap and sports, both in elite as well as general sports practice. ALLRISC is clearly in the heart of NESH. Active lifestyle and sports are of supreme importance in the aging individual, especially for those with a disability. As such NESH provides the essence of 'active healthy aging', since 'Exercise is medicine', as is examplified with the one day symposium on Handicap & Sport (28-10-11), the recent 5th International congress 'Rehabilitation: Mobility, Exercise & Sports' (April 2014), ReSpAct and the Practical Guidelines for Wheelchair Selection in the Court Sports.  'ReSpAct' is a follow-up on the research of Hidde van der Ploeg into the role of sports and acitive lifestyle stimulation in rehabilitation.  The Guidelines are the outcome of the thesis work of Barry Mason.



As one of the 8 NWO-ZonMW accepted centers of excelence (CORE) in the IMDI.NL program (Innovative Medical Devices initiative NL), SPRINT was officially inauggurated and presented on November 18th in the Nieuwe Kerk in the Hague.  SPRINT is about 'Smart mobility devices with improved patient prosthesis interaction' and serves to provide smart technology solutions to mobility impaired individuals and thus helps to improve quality of life and cost effectiveness of future health care. Prof Bart Verkerke and Prof Klaas Postema are the prinicpal investigators of this interuniversity (University Medical Hospital Groningen, University of Groningen, University of Twente) and interdisciplinary clinical research network, which involves active collaboration with middle as well as large industries. Lever wheelchair propulsion is one of the SPRINT projects, that involves collaboration with (international) industry. A typical applied research project in this context is the development of a commercial wheelchair ergometer 'Esseda' by Lode BV, the Dutch & Groningen company on exercise and fitness-related ergometry and technology. Rick de Klerk is PhD on this project funded by Lode, SNN and UMCG, for which he successfully defended his thesis and concluded his project on March 17th 2021. We continue to work with LodeBV to further optimize the Esseda, as an international standard for handrim wheelchair exercise testing.

Under the leadership of Riemer Vegter a ZonMw grant was obtained for 2 PhDs and a postdoc (per 1-1-2020) on WheelPower, a collaboration among UMCG/UoG, TUDelft, VU, University of Applied Sciences The Hague, NOCxNSF and wheelchair sports'associations in the Netherlands. In WheelPower wheel research in the lab and in the field of wheelchair sports and data science push wheeled performance to the limit. Rowie Janssen is the UoG-UMCG PhD who focusses on lab-experimental work the development of a set of standardised athletic work capacity tests.

Following the work of Liesbeth Simmelink on exercise work capacity in people with amputation, and based on the Cruiser ergometer, a project team with biomechatronics and clinical specialists from the Departments of Rehabilitation and Human Movement Sciences  of UMCG, LodeBV and Umaco BV started the Cruiser 2.0 ambition: a new generation of Cruiser-based cyclic arm-leg ergometry. This project was funded by the Beatrixoord NN  Foundation.

ReSpAct & ReSpAct 2.0

Rehabilitation, Sports and Active lifestyle (ReSpAct) is a rehabilitation research collaboration between the Departments of  Human Movement sciences and Rehabilitation of the UMCG/RUG, the Hanzehogeschhol and 'Onbeperkt Sportief' and addresses the effectiveness and implementaion process of an active lifestyle and sportstimulation program based on motivational interviewing strategies in Dutch rehabilitation practice, following the earlier work of Hidde van der Ploeg. Funded by the Ministry of Health Care it studies in a prospective cohort design over 1500 patients in 18 centres for rehabilitation care. The team around PhD Femke Hoekstra, postdoc Trynke Hoekstra and master Bregje Seves will finalyze patient inclusion next September. Follow-up questionnaire and interview measurements will proceed to sketch the short and longterm effectiveness in patient behavior and on the implementation in the centers and their professionals. The importance of the project is nicely exemplified in the video attached. With the promotion of Femke Hoekstra in 2017 on the professional and organizational implementation, ReSpAct stepped towards ReSpact 2.0, with new PhDs starting in the fall of 2018, Bregje Seves and Pim Brandenbarg. They will deepen our understanding of physical activity in persons with a disability, especially around working mechanisms at the individual and disability level.


PHD projects 

 .Johanneke Hartog, Heart ROCQ study; preventive heart rehabilitation to prevent complications (UMCG 2016)

Promotors: Prof Massimo Mariani, Prof Pim van der Harst, Prof Lucas van der Woude 

Co-promotor: Dr Joke Fleer

.Sandra Dijkstra, Heart ROCQ study; preventive heart rehabilitation to prevent complications (UMCG, 2017)

Promotors: Prof Massimo Mariani, Prof Pim van der Harst, Prof Lucas van der Woude

Co-promotor: Dr Joke Fleer

.Cassandra Kraaijenbrink, Effects of different handcycle settings on efficiency and propulsion technique: underlying mechanisms (Universitaet Muenster, UMCG-UoG, 2016)

Promotors: Prof Lucas van der Woude, Prof Heiko Wagner

Co-promotor: Dr Riemer Vegter, Dr Christiane Bohn

.Rafael Muxhaco, Classification in handcycling, VU University, (funding UCI; 2018)

Promotors: Prof Thomas Janssen, Prof Lucas van der Woude

Co-promotors: Dr Sonja de Groot, Dr Carla Nooijen

. Bregje Seves, A sustainable physically active lifestyle in people with diseases: unravelling the role of perceived fatigue and activity pacing. (Ma-PhD 1-9-2018 - 1-9-2021, UMCG, University of Groningen)

Promotors: Prof Lucas HV van der Woude, Dr Rienk Dekker

Co-promotores: Dr Trynke Hoekstra, Dr Floor Hettinga

.Sylvana Weiland, Exploring the possibilities of cross-education during gait. (Ma-PhD 1-9-2018 - 1-9- 2021, UMCG, University of Groningen)

Promotor: Prof Lucas HV van der Woude

Co-promotores: Dr Rob de Otter, Dr Heleen Reinders-Messelink

.Pim Brandenbarg, ReSpAct 2.0: development of active lifestyle behavior (during and) after rehabilitation; towards a digital future?, (6-11-2018 - 6-11-2022, Funding Stichting Beatrixoord NN, UMCG, University of Groningen)

Promotores: Prof Lucas HV van der Woude, Dr Rienk Dekker

Co-promotores: Dr Femke Hoekstra, Dr Leonie Krops

.Sjoukje Bouma, Secondary prevention in the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis: barriers and facilitators of implementing lifestyle medicine in primary and secondary care, MD-PhD 15-11-2018 - 15-11-2022, UMCG, University of Groningen

Promotores: Dr Martin Stevens, Prof Ron Dierks, Prof Lucas van der Woude

Co-promotor: Dr Inge Scheek

.Thomas Rietveld, Wheelchair tennis: Understanding and improving a complex skill, (Ma-PhD 1-9-2019 - 1-9-2022, UMCG, University of Groningen)

Promotor: Prof Lucas van der Woude

Co-promotores: Dr Riemer Vegter, Dr Sonja de Groot

.Rowie Janssen, WheelPower, (ZonMw 6-1-2020, UMCG, UoG, Groningen)

Promotor: Prof Lucas van der Woude

Co-promotores: Dr Riemer Vegter, Dr Sonja de Groot

Succesfully supervised and concluded PhD projects were:

.Thomas Janssen, Physical strain and physical capacity in men with spinal cord injuries, VU University, Amsterdam (1994)

.Annet Dallmeijer, Spinal cord injury and physical activity, wheelchair performance in rehabilitation and sports, VU University, Amsterdam (1998)

.Marco Hoozemans, Pushing and pulling in relation to musculoskeletal complaints, University of Amsterdam (2001)

.Sonja de Groot, Hand rim wheelchair propulsion: biophysical aspects of learning, VU University, Amsterdam  (2003)

.Olga Kilkens, Manual wheelchair skill performance of persons with spinal cord injuries, University of Maastricht (2005)

.Stefan van Drongelen, Upper extremity load during wheelchair related tasks in subjects with a spinal cord injury, VU University, Amsterdam (2005)

.Hidde van der Ploeg, Promoting physical activity in the rehabilitation setting, VU University, Amsterdam (2006)

.Janneke Haisma, Physical capacity and complications during and after inpatient rehabilitation for spinal cord injury, Erasmus University, Rotterdam (2008)

.Gaby Mueller, Respiration in spinal cord injury: time-courses and training, Radboud University, Nijmegen (2008),

.Linda Valent, The effects of handcycling on physical capacity in persons with spinal cord injury, VU University, Amsterdam (2009).

.Barry Mason, The ergonomics of wheelchair configuration for optimal sports performance , University of Loughborough, UK (21-7-2011)

.Ursina Arnet: Handbiking: a biophysical analysis, VU University, Amsterdam (22-6-2012) 

.Osnat Douer: Development of an universal wheeled mobility skills test for manual wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury, Catholic University Leuven (24-08-2012)

.John Lenton: Efficiency of hand rim wheelchair propulsion: effects of synchrous vs asynchronous push strategies , University of Groningen (24-10-2012), funded by University of Loughborough & Manchester Metropolitan University

.Daphne Wezenberg: Physical boundaries and walking ability in people with lower limb amputation, VU University, Amsterdam (19-3-2013)

. Casper van Koppenhagen: Physical capacity and well-being after a spinal cord injury (University of Utrecht  (15-5-2013)) (funded by ZonMw) ( )

.Inge Eriks: Structural  and functional impairments of the shoulder and its relation to activities and participation in persons with a spinal cord injury (2014) (funded by Swiss Paraplegic Research, University of Groningen 8-9-2014) ( )

.Arjan Bakkum: Hybrid cycling in spinal cord injury (17-11-2014), VU University, Amsterdam, Project part of ALLRISC, funded by ZonMw (

.Willem Bossers: "Healty Aging: aerobic exercise, strength training and dementia"(10-12-2014), University of Groningen, funded by UMCG & Fonds NutsOhra (

.Jan van der Scheer: "Low-intensity wheelchair training in inactive people with long-term spinal cord injury"  (18-3-2015), University of Groningen, funded by ZonMw & Fonds NutsOhra (

.Riemer Vegter: "Wheelchair skill acquisition: motor learning effects of low-intensity   hand rim wheelchair practice" (6-5-2015), University of Groningen, funded by CHS-UMCG

.Laurien Disseldorp: "On Physical functioning after pediatric Burns:Physical fitness and functional independence" (16-6-2015), University of Groningen, sponsored by UMCG and the Dutch Burn Foundation

.Trienke IJmker: "Balance control in human walking: an energetic perspective" (VU University Amsterdam, Heliomare, UMCG-RUG (22-9-2015)

.Marieke Kloosterman, "Keep on rolling: Functional evaluation of power-assisted wheelchair use" (RRD, University Twente (23-6-2016))

.Femke Hoekstra, "ReSpAct: Rehabilitation, Sports and Active lifestyle; An implementation-study on physical activity promotion in rehabilitation care", UMCG-University of Groningen (16-10-2017)

.Klaske van Kammen, Neuromuscular control of walking in the Lokomat exoskeleton, (start June 2014, Funded by Rehabilitation Friesland, UMCG; 14-3-2018)

.Annemarie de Witte, Mobility performance in wheelchair basketball, (Funded by Raak-Pro, VU University, Amsterdam, 23-5-2018)

 .Marika Leving, Motor learning in wheelchair propulsion: bridging the gap between laboratory and clinic, (Start Ma-PhD 1-9-2015, funded by UMCG, UoG-UMCG, Groningen, 17-4-2019)
.Tom Buurke, Adaptive control of dynamic balance in human walking, Start Ma-PhD 1-8-2016, funded by UMCG, UoG-UMCG, Groningen, 20-1-2020)
.Moniek Akkerman,Functioning beyond pediatric burns: physical activity, fatigue and exercise capacity up to 5 years post burn, (Start December 2013, Funded by Nederlandse Brandwondenstichting, UoG-UMCG, Groningen, 21-1-2020)
.Ingrid Kouwijzer, HandbikeBattle, a challenging handcycling event (Start 1-11-2016; funded by RC Heliomare, Stichting HBB, Revalidatiefonds, UMCG, St Beatrixfonds NN, St Mitialto, UoG-UMCG, Groningen 18-1-2021)
.Rick de Klerk, Development of a wheelchair propulsion laboratory(start 1-2-2017, UMCG, SNN, Lode BV; UoG-UMCG, Groningen, 17-03-2021)
.Liesbeth Simmelink, Physical capacity of patients with lower-limb amputation using the Cruiser combined arm-leg ergometer (Departments of Rehabilitation,Human Movement Sciences, UoG-UMCG, Groningen, 15-9-2021).
International & Industrial Collaboration

. The Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport , University of Loughborough, UK, Dr Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey, John Lenton,Barry mason

 . The Miami Project, Lois Pope Life Center, University of Miami, USA, Prof Mark S. Nash

 . Swiss Paraplegic Research , Notwill, Switzerland, Prof Gerold Stucki, Wiebe de Vries, PhD, Ursina Arnet, PhD

 . Faculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences , Catholic University, Leuven, Belgium, Prof Yves Vanlandewijck

 . Human Engineering Research Laboratory , School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Prof Rory Cooper, Prof Mike Bonninger

 . ROTA Mobility,  Los Gatos, CA, USA, Chris Bayne 

.Faculty of Medical Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy, Anton de Kom University of Suriname, Paramaribo, Suriname, Dr Kenneth Lamur 

.Lode BV and UMACO, 'wheelchair & rehabilitation ergometry' (Esseda, MRI arm-cycle platform, Cruiser 2.0; measurement wheel), Groningen, The Netherlands, Jasper den Boer,Ton Rademakers (SPRINT partners)

.Indes (Henk Janssen), Roessingh Research & Development/UT (Hans Rietman), Enschede, power assisted wheelchair propulsion.

Last modified:25 June 2022 02.55 a.m.