Sitting down for an hour and a half or so can be relaxing, otherwise movies would be shorter. However, those that must sit all day know that it can be terribly uncomfortable, making it difficult to maintain good posture. It can hurt your spine and doesn’t give you much opportunity to move your body.
While you might not be able to completely avoid discomfort from sitting in a wheelchair for extended periods of time, here are six simple tips to make sure you make your wheelchair as comfortable as it can be.
Choose the Right Chair
Never skimp on something that separates you from the ground. This rule applies to wheelchairs just as well as it does cars, beds, shoes and floors. It doesn’t mean that you should choose the most expensive option, but when you’re shopping for a comfortable wheelchair to rent or to own you should take a few different models for a test drive, evaluate your needs and read reviews in order to make an informed decision.
Get a Backrest
It doesn’t matter how hard you try, occasionally your posture will break down and you will begin to slump or stick out your chest too far, putting your spine in an unhealthy configuration.
Sitting ramrod straight for hours on end can tire your core, after all – and maintaining the same exact posture, even if it is good posture, isn’t healthy either. For the times you need to lean your back against the seat, invest in a backrest that conforms to the natural curve of your spine.
The human body is meant to move. We’re animals, not plants. Sitting down can inhibit your natural desire to move. Since it’s a resting position, your instinct is to not move much while you’re sitting down.
Letting that instinct take over, though, will lead to lumbar issues, so be sure to stretch, move and exercise daily.
Try it right now if you’re not already. There’s a reason people cross and uncross their legs, especially while relaxing and sitting. It’s comfortable and good for your posture. Just remember to switch your legs every now and then.
Psychological comfort is just as important as physical comfort, and you can modify your wheelchair quite a bit to achieve that. Adding cup or bottle holders, magazine racks or even decorative elements help people feel more at home and independent in their wheelchairs.
The positions of the armrests, backrest and footrests affect the alignment of your hips, spine and shoulders more than you might expect. Be sure to adjust them for maximum comfort and correct posture support.
When it comes to using a wheelchair, especially a rental wheelchair, you never want to simply pick the first one and go. At PA Healthcare, we help people looking for wheelchair rentals in San Diego to find the best chair for their specific needs. Please contact us for more information.