Handle heights are typically way too low for tall people. Examples include those for strollers, wheelchairs, luggage, etc. Sometimes handle extensions can be purchased, like for wheelchairs. But even in these rare instances, the extension length tends to be inadequate for particularly tall people like myself (6′7″). Too low of handle heights force us to hunch over and perhaps contribute to our increased risk of back pain.
The solution I’ve come up with is a universal handle extension for tall people. Someday perhaps it will be commercialized. In the meantime, I’ll show you how to make a DIY version. First though, let’s look at some examples of how it could be used.
One example is a wagon. I was pulling my son in one a while back. The handle was so short that I had to slouch a bit as I walked and even then it was bouncing off my heel every step I took. It was a frustrating experience for sure. So I decided to add a handle extension, which you can see in the second photo below. Now that’s better!
For the second example, let’s hit the gym. I love cycling, especially when I’m on a decent bike for tall people. But at the gym you have to ride the same bikes as everyone else. Mind you, they do tend to be more adjustable–but it’s just not enough for me. So I duplicated my wagon handle extension to make a pair. Voila, I can sit upright! And they come on and off fairly quickly given the wing nuts.
A third example is tool handles (the extension would have to mount a bit differently). Snow shovels in particular are a pain in the back when they’re too short. But a universal handle extension can be used to achieve an ideal length (see snow shovels for tall people for other options). Tool handles of all manners could be extended this way. Note that you likely want to use shorter screws than I did and regular nuts rather than wingnuts to minimize sharp edges.
There are numerous other examples where tall people could benefit from a universal handle extension, like strollers and lawnmowers.
The key component is the clamp. For a commercialized universal handle extension, certainly the clamp would be designed specifically for this purpose. But for the DIY/prototype version, a truss clamp (first image link below) actually makes for a remarkably good substitute.
All you need to do then is to attach a couple clamps to some dowels with some washers and good old deck screws and a cross bar and you’ve got a universal handle extension. There are all kinds of variations on this project. For instance, you could make the attachments at 90 degrees and put on a D-Grip. The ultimate universal handle extension would somehow transform between these variations…
What do you think of this idea? Will you try it? Or would you buy it if it was available? Or maybe you would like to commercialize it 🙂 Please tell in the comments below!