The Health Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs
Many people who can stand do not understand the amazing benefits of being able to do so. Such as independence and the naturally occurring health benefits from changing posture. When someone is forced to sit in one position for extreme amount of time, health problems will naturally occur. In fact, physicians have been documenting the benefits of standing devices for years throughout medical publications. Now, thanks to Redman Power chair, the world’s highest quality standing wheelchair, even people with spinal cord injuries can reap the health benefits of standing.
Physical Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs
Urinary Health – Urinary Tract Infections are common among people who are in wheelchairs. However, studies have shown that using a standing device or standing wheelchair can greatly decrease urinary tract infections.
Circulation – Changing posture helps the blood circulate around the body. For example, sitting in one position causes the blood to stagnate and reduce circulation to other places of the body.
Spasticity – Staying in one position, such as sitting, can cause muscle spasticity. Changing posture helps relax the muscles and reduce spasticity.
Bowel Function – Poor bowel function is a common complaint among wheel chair users. However, according to numerous studies, standing exercises can greatly improve bowel function. Even when using a standing wheelchair these results are the same.
Pressure Sores – Pressure sores occur from constant pressure on one area of the body. Being able to stand up in a wheelchair helps distribute your weight and improve healing of bed sores.
Contractures – Sitting for long periods of time may cause the joints and muscles to stiffen. Standing allows the muscles to get stretched and exercised, decreasing the amount of stiffness you experience in joints and muscles.
Bone Density – Some evidence shows that standing wheelchairs may increase bone density. This is because standing puts more weight on your bones than sitting.
Psychological Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs
Independence – Standing is the foundation of reclaiming independence. A few examples include being able to reach cupboards, change light-bulbs, and looking into a mirror at a regular level.
Increased cognition – Better circulation often means better cognition. Standing wheelchairs may help with certain cognitive tasks such as memory and focus.
Fatigue – Sitting or lying down for too long is a known cause for fatigue. Muscles may atrophy and quickly tire. Standing up helps exercises these muscles and reduce fatigue.
Depression – Depression is often caused by feeling a lack of control over certain situations. So it is no wonder why people confined to a wheelchair may suffer from depression. However, gaining the ability to stand, even with assistance, helps reclaim a certain amount of control and helps reduce depression.
Well Being – Wellbeing is dramatically increased by using a standing wheelchair. You can be on “the same level” when talking or communicating as others. You can also make eye contact, pose for photographs, hug standing up and much more.
Here is a concise benefits summary from RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America:
“It is RESNA’s position that wheelchair standing devices are medically beneficial for wheelchair users by: improving functional reach and access to enable participation in ADLs, improving mobility and lower limb function in those with some preservation of lower limb strength, improving range of motion and reducing the risk of contractures, promotion of vital organ capacity including pulmonary, bowel and bladder function, promoting bone health, improving circulation, reducing abnormal muscle tone and spasticity, reducing the occurrence of pressure ulcers and skeletal deformities, and providing numerous psychosocial and quality of life benefits.”
Read the full statement at RESNA Position On The Application Of Wheelchair Standing Devices.