When you are buying your first wheelchair, one of the most important things is your comfort. The correct wheelchair measurements for your body will allow not only that you are comfortable but that there is no posture or muscle problems in the future. In this article, we are going to help you step by step in learning how to measure for a wheelchair.
Seat Width: This wheelchair measurement is one of the most critical since if it is not correct you would not fit at all. Seat on a flat surface and measure yourself from hip to hip and then add a couple of inches to accommodate movement or for thick clothes during wintertime. The average seat width for most users is 18”.
Seat Depth: To get this wheelchair measurement right, please measure horizontally from the back of the buttocks to the inside of the knees. Then subtract 2 inches to ensure that the edge of the seat won't dig in the back of the user's knees.
Leg Length: This wheelchair measurement is very important because it establishes the correct leg height for footplates which will enable part of the bodyweight to be taken by the feet. To know this wheelchair measurement, seat in a flat surface and measure the distance from the heel of the shoe to the hollow at the back of the knee. Footplates must have at least 2 cm clearance above the ground.
Front Seat Height: To assure the correct wheelchair measurement, please measure vertically from the back of the knees to the ground having the feet resting flat on the ground. If the user will be using footrests then it would be ideal to add 2 inches for footrest clearance.
Back seat height: To obtain the correct wheelchair measurement for the back seat, please seat straight and measure from the bottom of the buttocks up to the collarbone. The average back seat height is about 16”, but It will ultimately depend on how the user wants it.
To summarize, you must measure yourself correctly before you purchase any new wheelchair if you previously owned one, then the process is more simple as you only need to understand those measurements to buy a new one. Also, please note that most standard/ergonomic wheelchairs just by having the correct seat width will have the average measurements for that user already implemented.
If you have questions, you can certainly reach out to us and we will help you solve all your doubts.