Improving the Lives of Wheelchair Users With Ergonomic Seating

We already have them in our offices and in our cars, but anatomically-designed seating could finally be coming to electric wheelchairs.

WheelchairMed-Post.jpg

These days you can find ergonomic seats anywhere, like in cars or in the office. However, wheelchair users often don't have ergonomic seats, despite the fact that they spend most of their days sitting in the same position in the same chair. Engineers from EMPA, an interdisciplinary research institution in Switzerland, Institute for Energy and Mobility of the Berne University of Applied Science, and r going, a Swiss rehabilitation company, have now successfully developed an ergonomic seat for electric wheelchairs.

Ergotherapist Roger Hochstrasser of r going came up with the idea because he noticed that wheelchair users develop a whole lot of complaints after spending whole days in the same position. As can be seen in the image, the backside of the seat is constructed in such a way that it simulates the structure of the human torso. The seat shell can also adapt to the contour of the user's torso thanks to an articulated backrest. It can rotate and tilt forwards and backwards.

The control console also allows the ergotherapist to program the movements of the backrest, and lets the user adjust the seat optimally. A whole lot of tests have already been successfully performed, which only leaves the clinical tests to be conducted. This will eventually tell us to what extent this new ergonomic seat will improve the daily life of wheelchair users.


This post also appears on medGadget, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

medGadget is written by a group of MDs and biomedical engineers.

Why Is Google Making Human Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors at a world-class life sciences lab are trying to change the way people think about their health.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Health

Just In