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Wheelchair Measurement Guidelines and Worksheet

Guidelines

For best possible results, proper wheelchair measurements are key in order to ensure the comfort and needs of the wheelchair user. 

For transport, standard, and lightweight wheelchairs, typically only the seat width and depth are required.  For those that like to propel the wheelchair with their feet, you will also need to take into consideration the seat-to-floor measurement. 
 
The wheelchair measurement worksheet below provides you with a description of each of the measurements (a. seat back height, b. seat depth, c. seat height, d. armrest height and e. seat width) as well as a place to record your findings so they are always handy. 
 
Important Note:  Always measure the user in a seated position, on a hard surface using only straight lines.


Wheelchair Measurement Worksheet

         
    Measurement A Seat Back Result  
  Seat Back Height Seat back height varies from user to user.  Based upon the user’s medical condition, full back support may be required. For many people however, only lumbar support is required, and the standard medium back height will work fine and is determined by measuring from the seat base to the top of the shoulder blades.
 
         
    Measurement B Seat Depth Result  
  Seat Depth Seat depth is determined by measuring the seat depth of the user from the most outside point of the body to the inside of the knee. It is a good idea to subtract at 1 or 2 inches, to allow for relaxed posture. For those who use their hands when lifting their legs for repositioning, they may prefer a little more leg hoverhang room to accomodate.
 
         
    Measurement C Seat Height Result  
  Seat Height The correct seat height is determined by measuring from the sole of the foot to the back of the knee. This measurement is used to determine where your feet will rest comfortably, without strain on your legs or back. This is the seat height in relation to the footplate or footrests, and is usually the height of the user where they are able to access tables or transfer without too much difficulty.
 
         
    Measurement D Armrest Height Result  
  Armrest Height Some chairs have an optional adjustable armrest height. To determine correct armrest height, the user should be seated in a comfortable position with the elbow at a right angle. Measure from the seat just under the elbow and add 1".
 
         
    Measurement E Seat Width Result  
  Seat Width Seat width is usually determined by measuring the width of the user (outside hip to outside hip while sitting) plus 1" which would allow for movement or bulky clothing, if applicable.