Maintaining good posture is something everyone should be aware of, but more so for those with physical disabilities. With already limited movement, a stable posture can help you participate more in everyday activities, make using equipment like hoists and slings easier, and generally be a life saver.
Depending on the type of physical disability you suffer from you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Ensuring you are seated correctly and comfortably is vital for posture and core strength. This is where seating and positioning equipment can make a world of difference.
Without awareness of your posture it is possible to develop severe distortions to the symmetry of the shape of your body. This can in turn lead to permanent shortening of the muscles resulting in asymmetries, which can then result in severe and chronic pain typically associated with a twisted spine (scoliosis) or hip dislocation.
Posture, positioning and of course comfort should be a main focus when choosing any piece of equipment. Obviously, identifying the correct seating and positioning equipment can vary dramatically from person to person and with a wide variety of solutions on the market it can be quite difficult to get right. This is why we would always highly recommend visiting a specialist shop and trying before you buy.
In recent years there has been a rise in the types of dynamic active seating aids available. Active seating safely puts the user in control and can encourage better posture and strengthen muscles. This particular seating also has been found to have cognitive benefits, improving focus and alertness.
Some of the general solutions available for making you more comfortable and avoid further conditions include:
- Car seat cushions – ensuring comfort and often making it easier to get in and out the car.
- Chair cushion pads – offering more cushioning and making the seating area higher.
- Chair pressure cushions – removing negative pressure from parts of the body that need it.
- Power lifting cushions – electric cushions that can help you stand at the push of a button.
- Chair raisers – blocks that attach to the bottom of the chair legs to raise the chair.
- Stationary seating options – riser recliner chairs (including motor riser recliners) offer cushioned. support to those with light to moderate sit-to-stand needs, helping to safely lift people up and out of their chair, holding up to 150kg in weight.
Additional positioning equipment is available, and new equipment is being developed all the time to provide extra support when eating, travelling and exercising from detachable trays, tables and footstools to seatbelt guards and positioning pillows.
As with all mobility equipment it is best to purchase from a supplier affiliated with the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) to ensure you are getting advice and guidance from a business that has agreed to the BHTA Code of Practice and will not pressure sell.
If you have experience in using any sort of seating or positioning equipment, we would love to hear from you. Maybe you can share your story to help others. Get in touch here.