Wheelchair Types To Help With Posture

Wheelchairs are an essential means of transportation for those who cannot walk or who experience pain when walking. As invaluable as they are to those with mobility issues, wheelchairs can be problematic for an important aspect of your health: your posture.

Even as a wheelchair user, your posture matters! Why is posture so important? 

  • It affects how comfortable you feel from day to day
  • It influences the health of your spine and muscles
  • Good posture helps prevent injuries, muscle spasms, and UTIs

Spending most of your day in a seated position causes problems for your body. But there are wheelchairs designed to alleviate the strain associated with sitting down. 

Below, we’ll explore the different options available to those who rely on a wheelchair and are concerned about their posture:

Important Features To Look For

When you’re shopping for a new wheelchair, be on the lookout for the following features, which can help you maintain good posture:

Lift Chairs

While this doesn’t exactly classify as a wheelchair, a lift chair is a reclining chair designed to assist a person with standing up or sitting down. A recliner also relieves the pressure on your lower body. There are several different types of lift chairs. Choose one that supports your back as you recline, so you can comfortably watch TV, read a book, or have a nap.

Manual vs. Motorized Wheelchairs 

The benefit of a manual chair is that it allows you to use your upper body strength to move. But manual wheelchairs put a lot of strain on the upper body. According to shoulder specialists, overuse injuries are common among those who use manual wheelchairs. Consider getting a motorized wheelchair to prevent these injuries.

Standing wheelchairs

What’s a standing wheelchair? It’s a mobility device that uses a lift mechanism to raise a person to a standing position. The chair supports the weight of their body as they stand which allows for a host of good benefits compared to sitting. Some standing chairs also recline and lay flat, so you can switch from standing to reclining position at any time. A few standing powered wheelchairs can even move forward while keeping the user in an upright position!

The Clinical Benefits of Standing

RESNA (The Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America) discovered that by using a standing wheelchair, you can:

  • Lower the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs). Sitting impairs the ability of your bladder to function properly. By sitting for prolonged periods, you may be at a higher risk for developing chronic UTIs. Standing wheelchairs keep your body in an upright position, which helps reduce the likelihood of a UTI.
  • Reduce pressure sores. Being reclined puts pressure on your lower body. Many wheelchair users develop pressure sores over time; these may form on the back, the shoulder blades, and the bottom. A standing wheelchair relieves this pressure. 
  • Prevent skeletal deformities. Keep your spine in alignment by switching to a standing wheelchair. This is especially important for children whose spines are still developing. Promote the health of your spine by using a standing chair. 
  • Relieve tensions. When your body is always in a seated position, tension builds up in your muscles. This can cause chronic pain and muscle spasms. A chair that raises your body into a standing position will relieve some of this tension and help prevent muscle spasms.

While this may not be a clinical benefit, it’s worth mentioning: A standing wheelchair gives more independence. You’ll have an easier time doing everyday tasks, from preparing a meal on a high countertop to grabbing an item from a tall shelf. And standing chairs also offers the ability to have eye-level conversations with your peers which boost self-confidence too!

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Try a Redman Standing Wheelchair

 Looking for a quality standing electric wheelchair? At Redman Power Chair, we literally pioneered the first standing wheelchair in history. Since then, we’ve continually improved the design to create a chair that’s ergonomic, reliable, and comfortable. You can transition from a seated position to a standing one seamlessly and even do a back arch position if your body allows for that level of stretch. 

If you’d like to get a customized price quote or set up a complimentary in-home demonstration, contact us today at 1-800-727-6684!

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