How to correctly measure your patient for a healthcare chair

It is vital for patients to be in a chair that is comfortable enough for prolonged periods of sitting. As not every chair will be made for a particular body type, there is no way to tell if the individual is provided with the proper support. With aspects like weight and size needing to be taken into consideration, purchasing a chair that is not tailored made could do more harm than good.

Throughout this article, you will learn how to measure someone for a healthcare chair. Keep in mind that the patient will need to be seated for each measurement and that three people will need to be involved with the measuring process: you, the patient and someone to help with measuring.

Seat Width

Healthcare chair seat width

The width of a chair is one of the most important measurements in this process. Getting it wrong could make the chair too narrow and cause unnecessary pressure on the body. With that said, if a chair is too big, it leaves the patient with inadequate support.

To get this right, measure the distance between each hip whilst the patient is sat down. For accurate measurements, gently place your hand on each side of the hips whilst the assistant measures the distance of both of your outer hands. You must make sure the measuring tape stays straight.

Depending on the individual, you may need to measure the distance of the widest point of the outer thighs using the same method. If your patient prefers to sit with their legs outwards, measure the distance between their outer knees.

Seat Depth

NHS riser recliner chair seat depth

In order to know the seat depth measurements,  you need to place one of your hands on the lower back of the patient while they are seated. Your other hand will be placed behind the patient’s knees. With a measuring tape, determine the distance between the back of your wrist (the hand that is behind the back) to the knuckle of the finger that is behind the patient’s knee.

Seat Height

Occupational therapy riser recliner chair seat height

To find out the height needed for the chair, you must take into consideration that a patient’s leg may be longer than the other.

To begin with, place one end of the measuring tape behind the individual’s knee and measure the distance between the bottom of the foot and the back of the knee. Repeat this for the other leg.

Back Height

Healthcare chair measurement of seat back height

As the chair reclines back, the individuals head needs to be in a supported position. To ensure your patient is receiving maximum comfort,  You will need to measure the top of their head to the bottom of the chair seat they are currently on. Failing to get these measurements right can cause strain in the neck and defeat the purpose of a made to measure chair.

Arm Rest

Seat armrest measurement of chair for elderly

Getting the armrest measurements correct is key to ensure the patient is sat in a comfortable and healthy seating position. If the measurements are wrong, the individual’s shoulders could be cramped upwards, building tension around their neck area. It can also affect the person’s posture if the armrest is too low. The right way should be at a 90-degree angle from the upper arm and forearm.

To measure the armrest height, ask your patient to place their arm in a 90-degree position. Measure the distance from just the elbow and the seat they are sat on.

Here at Rise & Recline Healthcare, we ensure that all of our chairs are made with patients in mind. Taking into consideration their dimensions, we tailor make supportive chairs and beds to provide ultimate comfort.

If you feel like your patient will benefit from a healthcare chair, request a free brochure today or get an online quote with our free Chair Builder.

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