New Ergonomic Wheelchair Seats Allow for Greater User Movement


Pic courtesy of Science Daily.

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) have teamed up with the design firm “r going” to design a seat for electric wheelchairs that allows users a greater range of movement. Sitting in one position all day is not good for anyone’s health, but it poses special risks for chair users. Too many hours in one position can leave them with bedsores, pain, and even deformities. The Empa/”r going” seat is designed to encourage the sort of movement that prevents these negative side effects. Science Daily reports:

The new seat shell has an articulated backrest constructed of of ribs and movable joints which are designed to match the contours of the user’s torso. Depending on the version, the backrest can be tilted up to 22° forwards and 40° backwards and seat can also be rotated by a good 30° in each direction horizontally. The wheelchair user is therefore strongly encouraged to keep changing his or her position, thereby shifting the location of the pressure points, as measurements with a pressure mat on the seat have shown.

Empa reports that its practical testing went well, with test users being quite satisfied with the new seat. Official clinical trials are planned for the near future to ensure that the new technology successfully combats the kind of conditions it was designed to prevent. We’ve got our fingers crossed and hope to see the Empa/”r going” seat hit the market soon!

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