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Thread: level vs angled footrest?

  1. #1
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    level vs angled footrest?

    I prefer to tuck my feet underneath me so that my toes are almost even with my knees and have always had a footrest that is 6" deep, with the back being about 3/4" lower than the front. So my heels hang off the back of my footrest. I would like to go with a level footrest on my next chair (parallel with the ground) but am not sure if my feet will be more prone to sliding forward under certain circumstances. Even if the footrest is level my heels are still going to hang off some which should still point my toes up a little bit. That in addition to having my feet tucked under me makes me think it won't be an issue.

    Does anyone have any experience with chairs that have been setup both ways? For those that tuck their feet underneath and have a level footrest, do your feet ever slide forward when you hit bumps, etc.?

  2. #2
    Mine is angled and I keep my toes about even with my knees. My chair is just a tad too tall in the front, so my feet have a tendency to slide off. If your heels are already hanging down based on the footrest height I would assume there wouldn’t be much difference. Especially if you wear a shoe with a bit of a heel to catch on the back part of the footrest.

  3. #3
    No single answer. Depends on your injury (complete or incomplete), tone, and spasms. Personally, I wouldn't want a flat footrest because it may result in foot drop (toes below heels) and shortening of the tendons. That would make it harder (impossible?) to stand (on my own on with a standing frame). I want some angle and the footrest high enough to keep my toes above my heels in order to keep those tendons stretched. For me the height matters more than the angle.

    There is a trade off with the footrest height. Therapists want the knees no higher than the hips in order to reduce weight on the iscials. Personally, I want my knees higher in order to prevent things from sliding off my lap. Just have to balance therapeutic value with function.

  4. #4
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    I have a complete injury with lots of tone but very little spasms. My knees are slightly higher than my hips and will be on my next chair. I'm not sure I understand your comment about not being able to stand. But the more I think about it, since I don't have a lot of dump and my thighs stay relatively flat/slightly higher in the front, plus my feet being tucked under my knees a good bit, my knees would have to lift up in order for my feet to slide forward. The weight of my legs should prevent that from happening unless I hit a bump or something that would lift my feet off the footrest and forward.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Brad09 View Post
    I'm not sure I understand your comment about not being able to stand.
    If your ankle is extended for prolonged periods of time your achilles tendon can shorten. You don't want that to happen. Because that disables your ankle from being in a standing position.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by August West View Post
    No single answer. Depends on your injury (complete or incomplete), tone, and spasms. Personally, I wouldn't want a flat footrest because it may result in foot drop (toes below heels) and shortening of the tendons.
    Bob Hall designed his New Halls Wheels Hallmark wheelchair with a flat footrest. I don't know why and never questioned it. I owned 2 of them, which were the first short-framed, 85-degree front frame angle chairs I owned. With legs tucked so far back under the frame, even with a flat footrest the feet are in a dorsi-flexed position and the achilles tendons are being stretched. I don't stand but after 36 years of chair use I don't have foot drop.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #7
    Makes sense. As long as your ankles are under your knees and your footrest is high enough your ankles should not extend. If your knees are extended and you have a flat footrest, then your ankles can become extended too. Glad I don’t see people sitting that way much anymore.

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