Wheelchair Seating Tips

Getting the correct seat cushion for your wheelchair will greatly increase how comfortable you are especially when using your chair for extended periods. Cushion comfort isn’t the only factor to consider. Here are some additional factors you should think about when it comes to your comfort and safety.

Wheelchair Seating Tips

Seat Width

This is very important because if it is too narrow, the char would be a tight fit and can result in skin damage due to the constant rubbing between the wheelchair and skin. If the wheelchair is too wide, it could result in posture problems of the spine.

Propelling the wheelchair with your arms might be more difficult as it might be harder to reach the wheels. It could also result in strain of the arms.

The wider the seat the heavier the chair and it might make it more difficult to transport especially if using a vehicle. Wider wheelchairs have a wider turning radius which means they are harder to maneuver in small spaces.

Getting through narrow doorways or going through tight hallways might be difficult even impossible. You should have enough space so that you can wear thick winter clothing and not have to squeeze into the chair.

Seat Depth

This is the measurement from the seat front to the back of the seat. The ideal seat depth is 3 to 4 centimeters from the back of the knees. Make sure your legs are perpendicular to the floor and the wheelchair seat should support the majority of the bottom of your thighs.

Too short a seat depth might result in loss of stability and excessive tension could occur. A depth that is too long could result in slumping which is bad for the spine.

Seat belt

A seat belt on the wheelchair could be very useful. Just like you wear a seat belt in your car for safety reasons, you should seriously consider doing the same in a wheelchair to prevent serious injury.

You could get cut off from people walking in front of you; you might crash into an object or you might have to stop suddenly.

Whatever the case, a seat belt will keep you from sliding out of your chair. They usually come with power chairs and there are some manual wheelchairs that come with them too.

 

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