Therapy cycle
United States Patent 3910571

An exercising device for bed patients is provided with straps for attachment to the mattress of a bed and has a hand holding device and foot operated energy absorbing mechanism for use by the patient in an effort to retain and/or restore muscles unused or weakened by an illness. Separate adjusting means are provided for positioning the hand holding device at a proper level and for varying the resistance on the foot operated energy absorbing mechanism to simulate different exercise levels. Disposable slippers for the patient to use in the foot cradling pedals and disposable sleeves for use on the bed contacting pads are provided to permit the device to be moved from patient-to-patient without sterilization of the device after each use.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
A63B22/08; A63B21/015; A63B21/16; (IPC1-7): A63B23/04; A63B69/16
Field of Search:
272/58,57R,73,79R 128
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US Patent References:
3259385Portable exercising device1966-07-05Boren
3100640Rotary exerciser apparatus1963-08-13Weitzel
2673088Exercising apparatus1954-03-23Wentz
2668709Medical exercising apparatus1954-02-09Boyko

Primary Examiner:
Apley, Richard J.
Assistant Examiner:
Taylor, Joseph R.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wegner, Stellman, McCord, Wiles & Wood
I claim

1. A cycle-type exercising device for attachment to a horizontal surface and having an arcuate shaped frame member, a pair of elongate pads connected at their midpoints to the opposite ends of said frame member, strap means fastened to said pads for attaching said exercising device to a horizontal surface, a drum-shaped housing carried by the midportion of said frame member, a crank means mounted on the housing and having pedal supports projecting outwardly from the opposite sides thereof, foot engaging members pivotally carried by said pedal supports, energy absorbing means mounted in said housing and being attached to said crank means, means connected to said energy absorbing means for varying the amount of energy expended by said energy absorbing means as said pedal means drives said energy absorbing means, a handlebar connected to said frame member, means for adjusting said handlebar in any one of a plurality of positions on said frame member, said means for adjusting said handlebar comprising a flange member projecting radially from said frame member and a U-shaped means carried by said handlebar and straddling said frame member and said flange member and means coacting between said U-shaped means and said flange member to lock said handlebar in any one of a plurality of locations along said frame member.

2. A cycle-type device as claimed in claim 1 wherein said energy absorbing means is a brake provided on said crank means for adjusting the amount of energy needed to drive said energy absorbing means.

3. A cycle-type device as claimed in claim 1 wherein each foot engaging member pivoted on one of said pedal supports comprises a sole, a cross strap spaced from the sole and bridging the toe area of the foot and a U-shaped heel supporting portion, said foot engaging member being adapted to cradle and support a foot of said supine user.

4. A cycle-type device as claimed in claim 1 wherein an indicator means is carried by said frame member and comprises at least one gauge connected to said energy absorbing means to indicate the equivalent distance covered by actuation of the energy absorbing means by the supine user.

5. A cycle-type exercising device as claimed in claim 4 wherein a cross brace is connected to said frame member and to the remote one of said pads at points spaced from said frame member and wherein said indicator means is mounted on said cross brace in visual alignment with said supine user.

6. An exercising device as claimed in claim 1 wherein protective means are provided for protecting said elongate pads and said strap means from contact with said horizontal surface, said protective means comprising disposable sleeves encircling the strap means and elongate pads thereby preventing said elongate pads and said strap means from contacting said horizontal surface.

7. An exercising device as claimed in claim 1 wherein foot protective means are provided for protecting the foot supporting members from contact with the feet of the user, said foot protective means comprising disposable members encasing the feet of the user thereby preventing direct contact between the feet and said foot supporting members.


1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to exercise devices and, more particularly, to an exercise device of the cycle type for attachment to a bed for therapeutic use by bedridden patients.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Cycle-type exercising devices mounted in an upright position on a fixed stand have been known and used for a long time. These devices are mounted on feet, on rods or on stands so that a person wanting exercise can walk to the device and step into a position with the person's feet on a pair of pedals, the person's hands on a pair of handlebars and the person's posterior supported on a seat all very much like an ordinary bicycle or tricycle-type vehicle. The seat and handlebars are sometimes movable as the pedals are actuated to provide exercise for more than just the legs.

The use of current cycle-type exercising devices is conditioned on the general reasonably good health of the user and unless the user can sit up and support himself in an upright position, he cannot gain the benefit of the exercise provided by the device.

In U.S. Pat. No. 3,057,201 to Jaeger entitled "Ergometer," a device is provided which can be converted for use by a patient in a reclining position to actuate the pedals during a physical examination. However, this device is ineffective for use by a bedridden patient since it would require the patient to be lifted onto the device, the pedals are inconveniently located and the indicators are inaccessible.


Many bedridden patients are physically well enough to have mild exercise but, due to the nature of their illness, are not permitted out of bed or to even sit up for any length of time and, as a result, are not able to get exercise on currently available devices. Typical of a patient meeting the just described situation would be a cardiac patient who has not recovered enough to be up and around and yet has recovered enough to be able to have mild exercise either to tone his muscles or to prevent excessive deterioration of his muscles due to continued non-use.

My invention provides a cycle-type exercising device for attachment to the mattress of a bed and has feet engaging slippers on the pedals of the device in which the patient can rest and support his feet. The pedals are connected to an adjustable energy absorbing device whereby the resistance to pedalling is varied to suit the needs of the patient. A hand holding arrangement is adjustable to a position of comfort for the patient so that the patient can grip the holding arrangement during exercise.

Appropriate dials are provided and are operatively connected to the energy absorbing device so that the equivalent speed and distance being covered by the patient can be observed by the patient. Disposable foot coverings for the patient and disposable sleeve coverings for the bed engaging portions of the device are provided so as to meet current health requirements permitting the cycle to be moved from patient-to-patient without sterilization.


The details of construction and operation of the invention are more fully described with reference to the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of my exercising cycle attached to a mattress and being used by a bed patient;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of the exercising cycle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the exercising cycle of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view taken along the line 4--4 of FIG. 2; and,

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 5--5 of FIG. 2.


Referring to the drawings and, in particular, to FIG. 1, my invention of an exercising cycle-type device 10 is illustrated as being strapped to the mattress 12 of a bed 13 with a bedridden patient lying on the bed and having both hands and feet in position to operate the exercising cycle.

As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the exercising cycle 10 comprises an arcuate or circular-shaped frame member 14 which is connected by fittings 17 at each end to a pair of flat, elongate, substantially rigid pads 16 and 18. A cross brace 20 is connected by fittings 17 at each end thereof to the extremities of the pad 16 with the center of said cross brace 20 being connected to the frame member 14 by a connector 22 spaced from the pad 16. The connector 22 is shown as a multi-branched element with the frame member 14 passing continuously through two aligned legs 24,26 and with the two halves or sides of the cross brace 20 seating in two transverse branches 28,30 thereof.

The opposite end portions of the elongate pads 16,18 have narrow transverse slots 36 formed therein through which slots is threaded a strap 38. Strap 38 has a buckle 40 on one end which is engaged by the other end of the strap. The straps 38 can be formed of canvas or other flexible material and are threaded down through the slot 36 in one end of the pad 16 or 18 and overlaps the pad on the undersurface thereof and is threaded up through the slot 36 in the opposite end of said pad. The straps 38 are adapted to be wrapped around the mattress 12 of the bed 13 and are secured by means of the buckles 40 to the mattress and/or to the bed. As an alternative, clamps may be provided on the ends of pads 16 and 18 to clamp the cycle 10 to the mattress or to the bed.

Throughout the midportion of the frame member 14, an arcuate-shaped index member 42 is welded or otherwise carried by the frame member 14 and has a plurality of equally spaced openings 44 extending transverse therethrough. The index member 42 is permanently affixed to the frame member 14 so that it will not rotate or shift relative to the frame member. A handlebar or hand gripping arrangement 46 is adjustably positioned on the frame member and comprises a cross bar 48 having padded grips 50 at the outer extremities thereof and which arrangement is engaged by the two hands of the patient. The center of the cross bar 48 is connected to a T-joint 52 which in turn is connected by a tube 54 to an adaptor 56 fixed on the lower end of said tube. The adaptor 56 has an arcuate-shaped body portion 58 which shape coincides with the arcuate shape of the frame member 14. The body portion 58 of said adaptor 56 has a U-shape in cross section with the legs 60,62 of the U-opening toward the center of the arc of the portion 58. As best shown in FIG. 5, a pair of aligned apertures 64,66 are formed through the legs 60,62 of the U and are adapted to slidably receive a pin 68 which is urged by a spring 70 into position to engage in one pair of aligned apertures 64,66 in said adaptor 56. A latching member 72 is welded to one leg 62 of said adaptor 56 and comprises a cup-shaped housing 74 welded around the lip of the cup to the wall of the leg 62. The pin 68 has a collar 76 inside the housing 74 which collar is urged against the wall of the leg 62 by the spring 70 between the collar 76 and the bottom of the cup. An enlarged knurled knob 80 is connected to the end of the pin 68 and is urged against the outside bottom of the cup by the spring 70. Pulling the knob 80 will pull the pin 68 to the right as shown in FIG. 5 as the spring 70 is compressed. The pin will be removed from the apertures 64,66 in the legs 60,62 of the adaptor 56 and from the aligned opening 44 in the index member 42 on the frame member 14. The handlebar 46 can now be moved to any one of the plurality of positions along the frame member 14 until it is comfortably situated for the patient. At that point, the knob 80 is released so that the pin 68 will seat in the apertures 64,66 in the adaptor and in the aligned opening 44 in the frame member 14 to lock the handlebars 46 in position with respect to the frame member.

A brake or energy absorbing member 82 is carried by the frame 14 and includes a hollow drum-shaped member 84 welded to the underside of the index member 42 on the frame member 14 and is securely positioned in alignment with the frame member 14 by means of the forward and aft supports 86,88 extending from the frame member to the sides of the drum member 84. The support 86 is connected to the coupling 22 on the forward part of the frame member 14 and the support 88 is connected to a Y-coupling 90 carried by the rear portion of the frame member. A cycle-type pair of foot engaging pedals 92,94 are connected on the opposite ends of an offset crank 96 which is rotatably mounted on the axis of the drum-shaped member 84. Within the drum-shaped member 84 is an enlarged weighted flywheel or cylinder-like element 98 which is keyed to the cross bar 100 of the offset crank 96 and is adapted to be rotated by means of the pedals 92,94 within the drum-shaped member 84.

A brake 102 in the form of a continuous band 104 encircles the outer surface of the flywheel 98 and is anchored at one end 106 by means of a pin 108 to the sides of the drum with the other end 110 connected to an adjusting screw 112 by means of the retainer 114. The adjusting screw 112 is mounted on the drum 84 by means of the threaded lug 116 and said screw has a knob 118 which when turned in one direction or the other will loosen or tighten the brake band 104 with respect to the outer surface of the flywheel 98 thereby increasing the amount of force needed to turn the pedals.

The cycle-type pedals 92,94 on the opposite ends of the crank 96 have pivotally secured thereto identical foot engaging slippers or shoes 120 which comprise a sole portion 122 and a strap 124 which is adapted to pass over the instep of the foot of a patient. A hollow U-shaped heel support 126 is attached to one end of the sole 122 and opens toward the strap 124 so that the foot of a patient can be inserted under the strap 124 with the heel nested in the U-shaped heel portion 126 so that the patient need not support his foot independently of the slipper support on the pedals.

To make it possible to visually observe the results of the exercise, a flexible shaft 130 extends from the flywheel 98 through the support 86 between the drum member and the frame 14 to a pair of indicator gauges 132,134 carried on the cross brace 20. Indicator gauge 132 is of the type that will indicate equivalent distance traveled in terms of feet, yards or fractions of a mile. The other indicator gauge 134 is calibrated to indicate speed in terms of feet per minute or yards per minute or the like. Rotation of the pedals 92,94 will actuate the flexible shaft 130 to cause the gauges 132,134 to indicate both equivalent distance and speed traversed. It is intended that different types of indicator gauges can be used depending upon the needs and the conditions of the patients, for instance the indicator gauges could indicate units of energy expended or foot pounds of work performed or the like.

It is contemplated that paper or plastic protective covers 136 be provided and be put over the feet of the user prior to insertion of the feet in the slippers or shoes 120 on the pedals. The covers 136 may be removed and disposed of after each use. In addition, it is contemplated that sleeve members 138 (shown broken away in FIG. 3), made of plastic or paper, be provided and be wrapped around the elongate pads 16,18 and straps 38 where the pads 16,18 and straps 38 pass over the sheets of the patient's bed which sleeves 138 may be removed and disposed of after each use. In this way, by protecting the device from direct contact with the patient, the device may be moved from one patient's bed to another without the need for sterilization between use.