If you are in the process of trialing a therapeutic chair, assessing a patient for a pressure management chair or in the process of purchasing a chair be sure to make note of these essential clinical features your chair should have.


These features are not just “nice to haves”, they will also help prevent injury, increase comfort, fulfill seating needs and can help make everyday life easier for both user and caregiver.

Tilt in Space

Tilt in space is when the entire chair can shift its’ position on its’ frame while maintaining the angles of the hips, knees and ankles. Tilt in space is used to help posture, head and trunk control and with positive or corrective positioning for those who need it. Tilt in space can prevent a person from sliding from a chair, provides comfort and can help someone relax. It’s also a great way to shift the pressure off a person’s bony areas.

Pressure Management

As outlined in the Four Principles of Pressure Management in Seating, in order to give proper pressure management, a chair should include:

  • The ability to properly load the body.

    Pressure management in SM Chairs3

  • The correct degree of postural support.
  • Tilt and Recline for effective repositioning.
  • The Use of an Appropriate Surface.

A pressure management surface must incorporate all four of these elements for optimal pressure management.

60 Second Fixed Adjustments

It can be helpful to seek out a chair that can be adjusted correctly to a patient without the need for tools or a service person to alter the chair. Instead, it can be completed on site, possibly in a matter of seconds without a complicated set of instructions.

Mobility in and out of the Chair

It is important to find a suitable chair that can allow person to transfer as they need to, whether that be with or without caregiver or equipment assistance. This can be accomplished through a variety of assisted or independent transfers. Consider chairs with removable arms, forward tilt and ability to accommodate hoists and lifts.

Mobility in the Home

Stroller WheelsDepending on the goals of a particular person, mobility can be independent, caregiver assisted, or for indoor or outdoor use.

Falls Prevention Features

A safe chair will reduce the risk of injury to the person sitting in it as well as those in their direct environment. It is important to note safety in terms of the person’s physical movements as well. It is important to get a chair that can balance ensuring safety while avoiding the use of restraint.*

Consider the risks of each patient. The patients most in need of these features could be:

  • Risk of falling out of the chair.
  • Risk of climbing out of the chair.
  • Risk of hurting themselves on the frame of their chair when hitting or kicking with the arms and legs.
  • Risk of injury others in their direct environment.

Infection Control and Prevention

Infection control is a standard by which products are designed to be easily cleaned and repaired to maintain a high standard of hygiene and reduce the risk of infection in a particular environment. A valuable feature is that a chair can be cleaned by standard cleaning agents in healthcare environments.

Which Seating Matters Chairs Carry all 7 of These Chair Features?

The Seating Matters Phoenix, Sorrento and Milano chairs are all capable of tilt in space with the addition of back angle recline. Our entire line is built to maintain the highest standards of pressure care, 60 second adjustment, injury prevention, and infection control. We can arrange a free Seating Assessment at a time and place that suits you.


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*Note: The purpose of this blog is to give an overview of the product with some tips to consider on its use. This is not intended to be a substitute for professional or medical advice, diagnosis, prescription or treatment and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. For advice with your personal health or that of someone in your care, consult your doctor or appropriate medical professional.

** The information is not region specific, so you must consult your local and national guidelines before taking action with regards to specific patients. 

** This post was originally published on http://blog.seatingmatters.com/7-recommended-chair-features

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