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Thread: Armrest height

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Armrest height

    For quads using power chairs, is there a standard rule for determining proper armrest height, or is it more a matter of personal preference?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by landrover View Post
    For quads using power chairs, is there a standard rule for determining proper armrest height, or is it more a matter of personal preference?
    I think it is personal preference. I was at the Abilities Expo in San Mateo last weekend and noticed all kinds of arm rest positions. One lady had her armrests (Permobil c-300) adjusted at an angle, lower in front, higher in back. I'm sure a physical therapist would have a typical standard, but since when do any of us fit into a typical standard?

  3. #3
    Too high and your shoulder joints will be unnecessarily compressed as your upper arm is hitched up against your collarbone, acromioclavicular joint and other structures. In addition, your neck and upper torso muscles will shorten in length and predispose you to trigger points and other soft tissue pathologies.

    Too low and your shoulder joints won't be unweighted sufficiently and you will cause unnecessary overworking of the soft tissue as you subconsciously try to maintain a correct posture.

    Either position, too high or too low and you will suffer unnecessary ergonomic stress during routine activities such as keyboarding, eating, driving, writing, etc.

    Generally, you should get to the point where there is no "hitching" up of the shoulder joint and you are in a somewhat neutral position. If you proceed any further lower and you start to see space under your elbow or feel you are starting to lose the weight support and come back up and that is your final position.

    You can also check yourself in a mirror from the front and the side and you can see how you are sitting. Angling the armrest up or down can result in excessive pressure on the elbow and result in bursitis, ulnar nerve compression and generalized pain.

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