Here at Bromakin, we believe that having a mobility impairment is no reason not to have rich and fulfilling life. Wheelchair technology is constantly evolving as designers continue to add new innovations and we make sure we keep ourselves informed of all new developments. Take the standing wheelchair, for instance. Since the original prototype was unveiled in 1975 by Valutec (now known as Levo, and still a major player in the industry), this revolutionary piece of equipment for wheelchair users has become a game changer for many wheelchair users.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the standing wheelchair – what it is, how it operates, and the benefits it can offer to its user.
What is a standing wheelchair?
In essence, a standing wheelchair is a piece of assistive technology that allows the wheelchair user to raise their chair from a seated position to a standing position. It provides full support to the user whilst standing, allowing them to interact with people and objects at eye level.
What types of standing wheelchair are there?
There are principally two types of standing wheelchair – manual and powered – although some manual standing wheelchairs do incorporate an electrically powered mechanism for raising the seat into a standing position. Of the two types, powered chairs are more popular, chiefly because manual standing wheelchairs are too heavy to be easily lifted into or out of a car and are more cumbersome to push around.
How do standing wheelchairs work?
When the wheelchair is parked and stable, the seat and back can be raised up, either manually or via an electronic control. The seat slowly raises up, straightening as it goes to form a rigid board the full length of the user. This board provides full support along the user’s body, allowing them to remain in a standing position, though this requires the use of straps and other restraints to hold them safely in place.
Who uses standing wheelchairs?
While most wheelchairs users – both paraplegic and quadriplegic – can make use of one of these devices to adopt a standing position, they are often used by people who would have needed to stand on a daily basis as part of their job prior to becoming disabled. This includes teachers, lecturers, managers, and other speakers. Musicians who would otherwise be encumbered for playing their instruments while sat in a wheelchair also make use of standing wheelchairs. Of course, anyone can choose one of these devices to assist in everyday tasks such as reaching higher shelves, cooking at a non-modified kitchen unit, and so on.
Benefits of standing wheelchairs
Aside from the increasing independence discussed above, standing wheelchairs offer several health benefits. These include improved breathing function, blood flow enhancement, better bowel and bladder function, and increased bone density. Standing wheelchairs can also decrease the risk of pressure ulcers as well as muscles spasms and contractions.
If you think that a standing wheelchair might be right for you, get in touch with Bromakin today on 01509 217569. Arrange a demonstration at our Loughborough showroom and let us show you what this incredible tech can do for you.