7 keys to ensure your chair is correctly setup for YOU

May 10, 2021 | Blog Articles, Wheelchair care, Wheelchairs

GOOD POSTURE SHOULD NOT REQUIRE ANY EFFORT ON YOUR PART. It is largely determined by the setup and proportions of your chair, relative to your body’s proportions. It has much to do with the chair, as it does you. More in fact!

That means, how your chair is set up directly impacts your long-term health and comfort.

So, how and what do you check, to ensure your chair supports you correctly?

Our first recommendation would be to seek the advice of an expert. Like WINFARThey can correctly assess your proportions and align your chair accordingly.

If you have already sort the help of an expert, and it still doesnt feel right, don’t fret. It might still require a little fine-tuning. So, if you have an extra set of hands at your disposal, ask them to work through the below list with you.

First, you need to measure the person’s body proportions when seated.
They should be seated, with a good upright posture and feet flat on the floor, directly in front of you.

Then, with pen, paper. and measuring tape in hand, measure the following:

Seat width should be measured from the inside of one armrest to the inside of the other.
There should be a 20mm gap on either side of the body, enabling the arms to comfortably rest on the armrests.

Seat depth is the length from the back of the buttocks to behind the knee.
This is important. If measured incorrectly, it could have a detrimental effect on posture, causing pressure injuries.

To measure the correct depth, ensure that the person is sitting all the way back in the chair, with their weight evenly distributed through their thighs and buttocks. This stops the pelvis from sliding to one side, or twisting, which can damage skin and alter the spine position

You are going to measure from the back of the seat to the back of the knees, so make sure the knees are comfortably at rest on the edge of the seat.
There should be no over-extension. You should be able to place two fingers together between the edge of the seat and the back of the knee. If you can’t, the seat depth is an issue, and will need to be adressed with an expert.

Then, with their bum at the back of the seat, place one hand on the back of the person being measured. And measure from your hand, along the thigh to the back of the knee.

The seat height measure is the distance from the seat to floor or footplate.
Seat height is important. 19% of a person’s weight is carried by the feet, whilst sitting. So, the feet need to comfortably rest flat on the footrest. The knees at a 90 degree angle, inline with the hips, thighs flat on the seat.

Seat height is measured from behind the knee to the sole of the foot, when seated.

This measurement directly impacts the level of comfort and support experienced by the user. To measure correctly, ensure they are first comfortably positioned, all the way back in the seat. Then measure from the top of the person’s head to the top of the cushion seat.

It is vital the person be comfortably seated, arms naturally at rest, before you measure. Shoulders should be level, maintaining the natural curve of the neck. If the shoulders are slumping down or raised, the upper curve of the spine is over-extended and the head unsupported.
With the shoulders down, the elbows should comfortably rest on the arm of the chair.
If the shoulder is raised or lowered, the armrest height is incorrect.

With the elbows comfortably resting on the arm rest, the hand should naturally drop at the wrist, if it doesn’t the arm rest is to long, and needs to be adjusted.

The footplates should support the hips and knees at right angles. If the feet are too far out in front, this tilts the pelvis, causing the body to slouch and risking pressure damage.  If they are tucked too far back, this pushes your pelvis the other way, altering the normal curve of the spine.

If you have any questions. If you are at any point unsure about your measurements, and the setup of your chair, give us a call, and make an appointment. We are always available to assist. Your health and comfort really is important to us.