The Importance of Good Seating Posture
What is posture…and why is it so important? Posture is the position in which you hold your body and limbs when standing, sitting or lying down.
Posture is important to our level of function so it is crucial to be well supported to achieve maximum function and independence.
There are numerous benefits to correct positioning in seating including: effective digestion, respiratory function, comfort and pressure relief.
If we sit, stand or lie in a poor posture for any length of time, it puts stress on the muscles, joints and ligaments. This stress can cause pain and damage and where seating is concerned the most common pain can be lower back pain. In some cases more serious complications can arise causing breathing difficulties and pressure sores.
Changes in Seating Needs
We all need a little more help with that as we get older, or if we spend long periods of time sitting down.
As we get older our muscles tend to become weaker and fatigue more quickly which can lead to leaning to one side, leaning forward or slouching down in our chair.
So it is important that the furniture you are sitting on supports your spinal curves. This is especially true for those that spend much of their day seated.
Size is Important
It is very important to get the size of any seating right, and rise and recliners are no exception.
Whether you have a chair custom-made for you, following an individual assessment, or you buy one off-the-shelf, you need to check measurements very carefully.
Good Seating Posture
A chair that is not the correct size can reduce stability and increase the risk of sliding down the chair. Which in turn causes poor posture which leads to stress on areas that can cause complications and pain.
It is recommended that when seated your feet should be flat on the floor with your hip joints and knees bent at 90°. This optimum position will ensure that your weight is evenly distributed and not concentrated on one area.
When seated and your feet don’t reach the ground, too much weight will be concentrated on the backs of your thighs.
The seat depth should allow that you are supported by the backrest without having to lean back. If a chair is too deep it will cause bad posture and put stress on the lower back. It can also rub the back of your knees and cause potential areas where pressure ulcers could result for anyone seated for prolonged periods.
The seat width should be wide enough for you to sit comfortably, without being squeezed or rubbed. However, if the chair is too wide then you won’t be able to use the arm rests as intended.
Rise and Recliner Chairs
Even though rise and recliner chairs come with several benefits, many people aren’t aware of how helpful they can be. They don’t just provide excellent levels of comfort, they can also help improve your posture and circulation.
Not only do they help you stand up and sit down, they keep your feet raised which makes you feel instantly relaxed and also promotes circulation. They redistribute pressure and alleviate back pain due to the flexibility in positioning options.
Ordinary armchairs are not suitable for people with complex requirements who are unable to maintain their posture or change position independently who sit for prolonged periods.
Many people are confined to bed because ordinary chairs and wheelchairs do not give them appropriate support. The right seating choice can improve engagement, interaction and social inclusion.
It is essential when prescribing alternative seating that the chair provides an appropriate posture for the person, as well as taking into account features such as pressure relief.
Our team of seating experts can assess and advise on the most suitable chair. We will conduct a thorough assessment after which we can advise on recommendation of the most suitable product.