Essential tips to using your wheelchair:
Are you sitting on a medical chair for a long period of time? Maintaining good posture in the wheelchair helps us to perform our tasks and activities more effectively. The correct posture is different according to each person and their circumstances, but it is always key to maintain health and make the most of the wheelchair.
Acquiring good posture in the wheelchair provides comfort to users, helps them reduce pressure on the buttocks, thighs and cervical and lumbar areas, and allows them to optimize the effort getting the maximum functionality of the chair by investing less amount of energy.
You can ensure that you are positioning yourself on your medical chair properly if you follow these guidelines. You should be way more comfortable and more accustomed to using your medical chair as long as you follow these tips.
It is the part of the chair that is in permanent contact with the user and therefore is essential to achieve the necessary stability for optimal propulsion and function.
Ideally, the weight should be distributed over the largest possible area. The seat of the wheelchair must not be short (pressure will build upon the buttocks) or long (the area behind the knee will have excess tension and the user will try to slide forward to avoid it).
According to experts, the optimal length of the seat is that, when the user is sitting upright, he leaves two fingers between the seat and the inner area of the knees.
Regarding the shape and angle of the seat, it should be with a firm base and not sink. In most cases, it is advisable to use a lower anatomical cushion from behind to accommodate the shape of the buttocks by spreading the pressure. Here are some very good examples: https://www.selectpatientcare.com.au/products/medical-procedure-chair
The support for the feet or footrest must provide an adequate angle in knees and ankles. From an ergonomic point of view, that is at 90 degrees would be optimal. But in practice, it will depend on many factors, since, for example, this may prevent the free rotation of the front wheels or actions such as climbing a curb, so it may be slightly lower in very active users or in sports wheelchairs. It can also be the case that the user cannot keep the knees at 90 degrees.
The importance of the backup lies in its ability to stabilize the trunk. It depends on the pathology and/or injury of each user and is fundamental for the comfort and function of upper extremities. Try and consult with your doctor to see just how much your backrest height should be.
Its mission is that arms and neck muscles rest. It is advised that the elbows be supported at 90 degrees, because if they are higher the cervical area and shoulders may suffer, and if they are lower the user will be dropped to the side. Depending on the type of user and lifestyle, the armrests can be replaced by side guards, which do not support, but avoid splashing and dirt when propelling.