Part of the GET WISE series from BHTA is a guide to good seated posture.
This leaflet is designed to help users and carers in the public domain to learn more about good posture when sitting in a chair or wheelchair. It is not intended for clinicians. This leaflet was put together by BHTA Industry Expert Members.
What is posture?
Posture is the way we hold ourselves or body segments in relation to one another and their orientation in space. Body positioning can be intentional or unintentional.
Posture has two main purposes:
- Antigravity – to provide the rigidity needed to maintain an erect posture against gravity
- Interface with the outside world – to orientate body segments to interact with the environment
The body structure is a very complex system. It is naturally unstable, but highly flexible, which allows for a wide variety of postures but also makes it very vulnerable to damage.
Why is good posture important?
- Enables independence
- Encourages interaction
- Promotes physiological function
- Manages comfort levels and quality of life
When poor seated posture is adopted over prolonged periods of time, a person can experience:
- Muscle fatigue and associated pains e.g. lower back pain or neck pain
- Organ dysfunction e.g. breathing and digestion
- Limitations in activity e.g. difficulty with eating and drinking
- Limited range of movement in joints and/or altered body shape
- Other health issues e.g. pressure ulcers, bowel and/or bladder problems
Click below to continue reading the BHTA guide to good seated posture.