It's a well-known fact that the Americans love to provoke. They are well trained in handling the media and know exactly how to attract attention. A few years ago, the medical director of a famous clinic in Arizona caused an uproar by stating: "Sitting is as bad as smoking". He claimed that sitting is more dangerous than cigarettes, more deadly than HIV, more dangerous than parachuting. In fact, many scientific studies say he's right. But what about people whose limited mobility keeps them sitting for hours on end? Are they then left completely and utterly at the mercy of fate? Fortunately not. Individually customised modern riser-recliner chairs not only make you comfortable when sitting in them but also motivate users to be more mobile.
In contrast to many other chairs, a riser-recliner is usually used by one and the same person. They can therefore be adjusted individually in terms of the backrest, seat height, seat depth and seat width. The chair is then literally tailor-made. As an alternative, other chairs are available with fully variable seat heights and seat depths that are very easy to adjust. Both solutions optimise the distribution of sitting pressure which is so important. This is perfect when the feet are in contact with the floor, thighs and calves are at an angle of about 90 degrees and the thighs rest on the chair along their whole length, with space to fit 2 to 3 fingers between the seat and the back of the knee.
The backrest is particularly important. It must be possible to adjust it easily to the full range of different positions from sitting upright to lying down flat. Synchronous backrest adjustment and seat tilt is another important detail which helps to prevent the user from sliding out of the chair while adjusting the backrest.
Lumbar support (at about belt height) should be a standard feature that can be taken for granted in an ergonomic, back-friendly riser-recliner chair. It should be individually adjustable and as large as possible to offer genuine relief in all positions. It thus ensures that the spinal column is an anatomically correct position without any compression of the intervertebral discs and even allows them to regenerate and become replenished with fluid when lying flat. They can thus fulfil their intended buffer function while preventing almost any signs of wear and tear.
Many people with restricted mobility have problems with their heart or circulation in the legs, so that it is also important to pay attention to the so-called heart-balance position when purchasing a riser-recliner chair. What does that mean? It's quite simple: The heart-balance position has the feet higher than the heart for a relaxed flow of blood from the leg through the veins back to the heart. Particularly for a well-deserved nap. No matter whether the chair is being used to sleep, read, watch TV or do the crossword, the arms should be given optimum support whatever the sitting or lying position. The width of the armrest is just as important as the height. Tip: When the arms are lying on the armrest, the shoulders should not sag or be hunched.
Furthermore, the rising function is especially important particularly for people with restricted mobility. The chair must be designed not to press the body forwards, as this would increase the risk of falling. It is better for the body to be well supported and for the armrests to give secure support. Other features such as headrests, integrated seat/back heating and a massage function can turn a riser-recliner chair into a wellness oasis. Some even have a micro-movement function. They trigger scarcely noticeable movement of the back, while at the same time also permitting regeneration of the intervertebral discs.
Only use the rising function when it is really needed. The longer you can use your own muscle strength to get up out of the chair, the better for your overall mobility.
himolla Polstermöbel GmbH*
Landshuter Str. 38
Phone +49 8084/25-0
Fax +49 8084/25-558
Wellco International BV**
5683 CL Best
Phone +31 88/33 88 10 0
Fax +31 88/33 88 19 9
Anatomically correct sitting and mobility
Poor sitting posture places an added burden on the back