The Health Benefits of Standing Wheelchairs
It’s not surprising that when the average person thinks of a wheelchair, they think of the typical seat with two wheels. However, wheelchair technology has advanced beyond that point. These days, wheelchairs come in all shapes and sizes that fit the needs of the users. One of the ways that this is observed is through standing wheelchairs. Standing wheelchairs are unique because they can bring a variety of health benefits to their users. Whether you select a standing power wheelchair or a manual standing wheelchair, the ability to stand for a short period of time brings a variety of benefits to wheelchair users, including circulatory & respiratory health, digestive health, musculoskeletal health, as well as comfort and independence.1
Standing wheelchairs use functions to leverage the user into an upright position so that they can stand at full height. This is important to help strengthen the user’s respiratory system. Unfortunately, wheelchair users tend to have weaker respiratory systems due to either staying in a seated position or restricted functionality in the upper part of the body. A standing wheelchair will assist the user by helping them stand upright to stabilize their spine and reduce pressure on it. In turn, this allows their body to better circulate blood and oxygen.
This is particularly important for the health of the circulatory system because it’s so interconnected with the respiratory system. When the user has just a few minutes to stand, this helps the blood flow through the body and reinvigorates areas that would otherwise receive reduced attention from the body. This simple change of posture is immensely helpful to improving the health of the user overall.
As the user stands with the assistance of a standing wheelchair, gravity also acts on them to help them get rid of bodily waste. By standing, the ability to extend themselves allows gravity to pull on them and help waste cycle through the bowels and bladder. By doing this, this ultimately helps to reduce internal infections, avoid kidney or bladder issues, and take care of other necessary functions needed to let the body detoxify itself.
Whether the user stands through a standing frame wheelchair, a standing power wheelchair, or a manual standing wheelchair, the ability to stand upright and sustain a user’s body weight will help that user maintain health for their bones. Weakened bone strength leads to issues with osteoporosis or bone deformities--so it’s critical that a wheelchair user gets this small form of exercise to strengthen their body and strengthen their bone density. When a user is able to maintain their bone density, they’re able to control vitamin D intake, how calcium interacts with their body, and improve their physical activity levels.
However, being able to operate a standing wheelchair doesn’t just carry an array of physical health benefits--but mental health benefits too. Even if standing wheelchairs can’t bring full mobility and full independence back to the body, it helps bring back a sense of independence for the user. This is critical to their mental health because it can reduce the amount of outside care a user needs, makes transfer into and out of vehicles easier and safer to perform, and increases self-confidence in social settings. Through this level of independence, a standing wheelchair user ultimately improves their quality of life and their mental freedom.
With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why standing wheelchairs mean so much to so many buyers. With improved access and several quality of life benefits, a standing wheelchair can make a big difference to someone’s physical and emotional health. When you select a standing wheelchair, you’re choosing to improve your mental and physical health. Learn more about your options from our selection of standing wheelchairs!