US 3789836 A
A device for stimulating the circulation of blood in the feet and legs of a standing or seated person, which comprises a pair of treadles to receive the feet of a person when the calves of the legs are in substantially upright positions, such as in a normal standing or sitting position. The treadles are pivotally mounted and linked to drive means to impart a generally up and down oscillating movement thereto, whereby the movement is imparted to the feet in a manner so as to oscillate the feet about the ankle joints.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Girten [451 Feb. 5, 1974 APPARATUS FOR THE STHMULA'HON 0F moon CHRCULATHON iN FEET AND was  Inventor: William Girten, Fort Lauderdale,
 Assignees: Joseph W. cott3 Zephyr Scott, both of Miami, Fla.
22 Filed: Dec.7,1972
52 U.S.Cl 128/2513 51 inLCl ..B61h1/02  Field of Search 128/25 R, 25 B, 48, 49, 51, 128/52; 272/57 B  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Brown 128/25 B 2/1968 Girten 123/25 B 9/1970 Small 128/25 B Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp  ABSTRACT A device for stimulating the circulation of blood in the feet and legs of a standing or seated person, which comprises a pair of treadles to receive the feet of a person when the calves of the legs are in substantially upright positions, such as in a normal standing or sitting position. The treadles are pivotally mounted and linked to drive means to impart a generally up and down oscillating movement thereto, whereby the movement is imparted to the feet in a manner so as to oscillate the feet about the ankle joints.
13 Claims, '7 Drawing Figures APPARATUS FOR THE STIMULATION OF BLOOD CIRCULATION IN FEET AND LEGS STATE OF THE PRIOR ART U.S. Pat. No. 3,370,584 to William Girten discloses an apparatus for the stimulation of blood circulation in the feet and legs with the calves of the legs in generally horizontal positions, such as when a person is confined to a bed or wheel chair. This patent has become the property of the same parties who have determined the useful results of such a device; however, it has also been determined that a device of this nature is very useful to those who are recuperating after a period of confinement in bed or the like, and are able to stand or sit upright with the calves of their legs in generally upright positions.
BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION After a period of confinement in bed, it is often difficult for a person to walk about without aid; this is generally a result of poor circulation of blood and stiffness or weakness in the leg muscles caused by the period of inactivity. It has been an established fact for quite some time now that it is beneficial for a patient to get out of bed as soon as possible and to engage in limited exercises, such as walking. The device of the present invention has been found to be extremely helpful in activating such patients who need only get into an upright position with their feet positioned in the pair of foot treadles. The device may be positioned relative to any kind of object that the patient can hold onto, to maintain his equilibrium, if necessary.
The treadles sequentially oscillate generally up and down in a manner whereby the feet are pivoted or oscillated about the ankle joints, resulting in an increase of blood circulation, warming the feet and causing alternating contractions and relaxations of the muscles in the legs. The beneficial results enable the person to quickly regain the facility to move about under his own power.
Instead of using the device in a standing position, a person can sit upright with the calves of the legs in generally upright positions with the feet disposed on the foot treadles to achieve similar results.
The device of the present invention provides the same physical therapy for anyone, such as aged persons who suffer from chronic blood circulation problems and sore, stiff leg muscles or the like.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the floor walker device of the present invention with a portion of the motor and drive linkage cover housing broken away;
FIG. 2 is a top elevational view thereof with a portion of the housing broken away;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view of the floor walker;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1 illustrating a modified form of the invention; and
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 7--7 of FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS With reference to the drawings in which like reference numerals designate like or corresponding parts throughout the various views and with particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the floor walker of the present invention is comprised generally of a flat base member 10, a pair of foot treadles 12 and 14 pivotally mounted to a pair of U brackets 16 and 18, fixed by screws 20 to the base 10, a drive motor means 22, linkage means 24 operably connecting the motor 22 to the foot treadles 12 and 14 and a cover housing 26 enclosing the motor and linkage 24.
The flat base member 10 is provided with a through, T shaped cut out 28 to receive the motor 22 and to provide clearance for the operation of the linkage means 24. A motor mounting plate 30 is fixed by screws 32, in a covering relation to the cut out 28, across the bottom face of the base 10, and appropriate resilient botton type supports 34 are fixed adjacent each corner of the base 10.
As best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the motor 22 is bolted at 36 to the vertical flange 38 of an angle bracket 40, bolted at 42 to the motor mounting plate 30. FIG. 1 illustrates a heat exhaust fan 44, fixed to a forward extension 46 of the motor drive shaft, to dissipate the heat from the motor 22, through an open grille portion 48 in the front of the cover housing 26, away from the feet of a user, as will be apparent from the following description.
The rearward extension 50 (FIG. 3) of the motor drive shaft carries an eccentric 52 fixed as at 54 thereto, and a crank arm 56 is pivotally connected between the eccentric 52 and the linkage means 24 as at 57 and 58. The linkage means 24 includes a rocker bar assembly comprised of a central span 60 bolted as at 62 and 64 to a pair of oppositely extending downwardly angled arms 66 and 68. I
As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the rocker bar assembly is pivoted at 70 through the central span 60 to the upper end of the vertical bracket flange 38 in a spaced relation to the crank arm pivot 58.
An electric lead 72 (FIG. 2) is provided to the motor 22, and when the switch lever 74 is actuated to energize the motor 22, the eccentric driven crank arm 56 rocks or oscillates the rocker bar assembly about the pivot 70, as indicated by the arrow 76. In this manner the downwardly angled arms 66 and 68 sequentially swing up and down in an opposed relation.
With further reference to FIG. 3, the distal ends 78 and 80 of the arms 66 and 68 are universally connected at 82 and 84 to the lower ends of respective link assemblies 86 and 88, which are in turn universally connected at 90 and 92 to the underside of the toe portion of the respective foot treadles l2 and 14.
Each of the universal connections 82 and 84 is comprised of a fitting 94, fixed in an end 78 or 80 of an arm 66 or 68, having an outer ball end 96 (FIG. 5) nested in a socket 98 in an enlarged lower end portion 100 of a link assembly 86 or 88. A sleeve 102 is slidably engaged over the lower end portion 100 and is upwardly notched as at 104 to receive the reduced diameter neck portion 106 of the fitting 94. A compression spring 108 confined between an annular flange 110 at the top of the end portion 100 and the upper edge of the sleeve 102 maintains the neck 106 in a confined relation within the notch 104 to maintain the ball 96 in the socket 98.
In assembling or disassembling the universal ball connection thus formed, the sleeve 102 is slid upwardly 3 along the end portion 100 against the pressure of spring 108 until the lower edge 1 12 of the sleeve 102 is above the ball 96, whereupon the ball 96 may be slid into or out of the socket 98.
Each link assembly 86 and 88 includes a reduced diameter, screw threaded stud portion 1 14 extending upwardly from the flange 110 in adjustable screw threaded connection within an internally screw threaded sleeve 116 (FIG. 3). A ball 118 is formed atop a reduced diameter neck 120 connecting to the sleeve 116, said ball being snap fitted into an appropriately sized socket 122 in a boss 124, formed of a suitable synthetic material, such as nylon, fixed by a screw 126 to the underside of the toe portion of a foot treadle 12 or 14.
Therefore, it is readily apparent that the movement imparted to the rocker bar assembly 60, 66 and 68, as previously described, is imparted to the toe portions of the foot treadles 12 and 14, through the respective link assemblies 86 and 88, causing said toe portions to sequentially move up and down in an opposed relation.
As previously stated, the U brackets 16 and 18 pivotally carry the respective foot treadles 12 and 14. The heel portion of each treadle l2 and 14 is fixed by a plurality of screws 130 to the cross span 132 ofa yoke 134, and the upper end of each side arm 136 and 138 of the yoke 134 is pivotally connected inside of a respective upstanding arm 140 and 142 of a U bracket 16 or 18, as best illustrated at 144 in FIG. 4. The pivotal connections 144 are preferably in the area of the ankles when the users feet are positioned on the foot treadles. With further reference to FIG. 4, bushings 146, preferably formed of a material such as nylon, are provided at each pivotal connection to provide easy, noise free movement of the foot treadles. When the tow portions of the foot treadles are moved up and down as previously described, the foot treadles l2 and 14 pivot in the ankle area of the user.
Each of the foot treadles 12 and 14 are preferably provided with an upstanding flange 150 around the major peripheral portion thereof to positively maintain the feet of the user thereon. Hand grip means 152 and 154 may be secured by any conventional means to the respective side edges of the base for portability purposes, and a fuse in a receptacle 156 is preferably provided in the circuitry for safety purposes.
The frame of the device is positioned so as to be placed on the floor with the foot treadles 12 and 14 generally at a small angle to the floor so that the device can be used by patients when in standing or sitting position with their calves in substantially upright position.
In operation, the feet of a user are positioned in the foot treadles and the motor is energized by the switch lever 74 and the respective treadles oscillate generally up and down in an opposed relation about pivot means in the area of the ankle joints of the user. The apparatus may be utilized in a standing position or in a seated position with the calves of the legs in general upright positions. In actual use, the device provides very beneficial results by increasing the circulation of blood, warming the feet, and loosening and strengthening of the leg muscles by the repeated flexing and relaxing thereof.
The motor 22 is preferably of the variable speed type and a control knob 158, FIG. 2, is provided to manually control the speed thereof.
Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, the modified form of the invention disclosed therein is comprised generally of a base member 10, a pair of foot treadles 12' and 14' pivotally mounted to a pair of U brackets 16 and 18' (only one shown), fixed by screws 20' to the base 10, a drive motor 22, linkage means 24' operably connecting the motor 22 to the foot treadles 12' and 1 1 and a cover housing 26.
In general, the modified form of the invention operates and performs the same function as the form described relative to FIGS. 1 through Sand the following description will be directed to the more simplified linkage means 24' incorporated therein.
The eccentric 52', driven by the motor 22, is drivingly connected to a rocker arm 160 by a crank arm 162, pivotally connected at a first end to the eccentric 52' as at 164. Rocker arm 160 is pivoted at 166, centrally of its length, to a bracket 168 fixed at 170 to the base 10, and the second end of the crank arm 162 is pivotally connected at 163 to the rocker arm 160, a predetermined distance off center of its length.
As illustrated in FIG. 7, the reduced width end portions 172 and 174 of the rocker arms 160 are in somewhat angular positions relative to the main body portion thereof and provide ball bearings 176 and 178, mounted in the upper edge of the respective end portions 172 and 174. The ball bearings 176 and 178 are in contact with the bottom of the respective inner edge portions 180 and 182 of the toe portions of the foot treadles 12' and 14.
When the drive motor 22' is energized by a switch such as illustrated at 74 in FIG. 2, the eccentric 52' actuates the rocker arm 160 by means of the crank arm 162, causing the respective angulated end portions 172 and 174 to impart a generally up and down movement in an opposed relation to the foot treadles 12 and 14 in the same manner as described relative to the form of the invention disclosed in FIGS. 1 through 5.
Adjustable nut and bolt means may be substituted for the ball bearings 176 and 178 to provide means to adjust the angular relationship of the respective foot treadles 12' and 14 to the base 10'.
The base 10' may be comprised of a metal or plastic housing 186 with a resilient base filler of a material, such as a sponge rubber or plastic 188.
What is claimed is:
1. A floor walker device for stimulating the circulation of blood in the feet and legs and alternately flexing and relaxing the leg muscles, comprising:
A. a base member;
B. a pair of spaced apart, generally U shaped brackets fixed to said base;
C. a pair of foot treadles, the heel portion of each being fixed to a yoke member, pivotally connected within one of said U shaped brackets in the area of the ankle joint of a foot placed on said foot treadle;
D. a motor mounted in said base;
B. an eccentric driven from said motor;
F. rocker bar means centrally, pivotally connected to a fixed bracket;
G. a crank arm pivotally connecting between said eccentric and rocker bar means to sequentially rock the opposed ends of said rocker bar in up and down directions;
H. engagement means between said opposed ends and the respective toe end portions of said foot treadles to transmit the up and down movement thereto, whereby said foot treadles are pivoted about said pivotal connections.
2. A floor walker device as defined in claim 1 wherein said engagement means are adjustable and include pivot means connecting respectively to said opposed ends and tow portions.
3. A floor walker device as defined in claim 2, wherein said rocker bar comprises a central span portion and a pair of oppositely extending, downwardly and outwardly angled arms fixed thereto.
4. A floor walker device as defined in claim 3, wherein said central span portion includes said pivotal connection to said fixed bracket and said pivotal connection to said crank arm.
5. A floor walker device as defined in claim 4, wherein said adjustable connecting means are pivotally connected between said toe portions and the opposed extending ends of said downwardly and outwardly angled arms, positioning said foot treadles normally at a small angle to the floor.
6. A floor walker device as defined in claim 1, including a cover housing over said motor, eccentric, rocker bar and crank arm assembly; and including a heat discharge fan, driven by said motor, and an open grille in the front side of said housing whereby heat generated by said motor is discharged away from the feet of a user.
7. A floor walker device as defined in claim 2, wherein said adjustable connecting means comprises a pair of link assemblies, respectively connecting between said opposed ends and the toe end portions, each of which includes respective ball and socket connections to one of said opposed ends and to one of said toe end portions.
8. A floor walker device as defined in claim 7, wherein each of said link assemblies includes a lower portion providing said ball and socket connectionto one of said opposed ends and an upwardly extending screw threaded stud, and an upper portion including an internally screw threaded sleeve adjustably received on said stud portion and said ball and socket connection to one of said toe end portions.
9. A floor walker device as defined in claim 1, including generally upwardly extending flanges about the major portions of the peripheral edges of said foot treadles.
10. A floor walker device as defined in claim 1, wherein said motor is of the variable speed type and a control knob is provided to manually control the speed thereof.
11. A floor walker device as defined in claim 1, wherein the respective end portions of said rocker bar are of a reduced width and are angled upwardly and outwardly toward the inner, bottom side, toe portions of the respective foot treadles.
12. A floor walker device as defined in claim 11, wherein said engagement means comprises a ball bearing mounted in the upper edge of each of said reduced width portions in engagement, respectively, with each of said inner, bottom side, toe portions.
13. A floor walker device as defined in claim 11, wherein said engagement means comprises an adjustable bolt extending upwardly through each of said reduced width portions into engagement, respectively, with each of said inner, bottom side, toe portions and lock nut means engaged on each of said adjustable