measure wheelchair for patient

One of the main reasons a disabled person or senior citizen usually resists a wheelchair is the result of poor fitting. When someone is sitting in a wheelchair that’s crammed, tight, and uncomfortable, it’s pretty difficult to tell them otherwise when they want out.

Sitting in an unfitted wheelchair could also very easily cause unnecessary strain or injury. This is why it’s especially important to be properly fitted in a wheelchair before purchasing one.

Seat Height Measurement
 User Height Approx. Seat Height
 4’11″ and under 14″ to 16″
 5’4″ and under 17″ to 18″
 5’4″ and above 19″ to 21″

Finding the Right Size

The most important feature to go after when purchasing a wheelchair is finding the right size. Remember to look for a wheelchair the right seating measurements. Each individual has his or her own measurements so make sure to purchase accordingly. Seat width, seat height, and seat depth are all key points that should be taken into consideration.

Carefully measuring each segment of the wheelchair will allow a pain free seating arrangement for the user in the wheelchair.


Seat Width Measurement
 Width of hips in seated position + 1 inch

Measuring Seat Width for Wheelchair Fitting

Most popular wheelchair seat width is 18 inches for the average adult.

To get an accurate measurement of the seat width, match the measurement of the chair’s seat width with the measurement of the person’s hips. After that, add a couple of inches to allow for heavy clothing and headroom.

Seat depth is relative to the adjustment options your specific wheelchair allows. Certain wheelchairs are very adjustable and allow you many different methods of adjustment including leg height riggings.

Proper Posture – How to Measure Wheelchair For Fitting

Choosing the correct seat depth allows for a comfortable ride especially since this dictates the placement of the knees. Seat depth prevents the edge of the seat from pinching the user’s knees which is one of the most common issues wheelchair’s users seem to have.  If the seat is too narrow, the user’s weight to fall on the thighs.

Proper posture is crucial for determining a person’s comfort level. Poor fitting means poor posture and poor posture means poor comfort.



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