When you’re shopping for a scooter, powerchair, or wheelchair, you’ll probably be focused on features and price. But just because a scooter offers the features that you want and is priced within your budget doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for you. There’s one important other element you need to consider: The overall fit of the scooter, powerchair, or wheelchair.
The Importance of a Good Fit
Fit matters when you’re purchasing a scooter. If you buy a scooter that’s a poor fit, you may have trouble maintaining your position, may be uncomfortable while using the scooter, and may experience increased pain after you use the scooter.
Luckily, you’ll find that scooters are available in many different sizes and designs, so there’s sure to be a scooter available that will be a good fit.
How to Fit a Scooter
You’ll need to consider multiple factors when deciding whether a scooter is a good fit for you.
Start with the weight capacity. This is a simple way to rule out any scooters that may not be suitable for you. A scooter’s weight capacity will be clearly advertised in its product listing.
First, you’ll need to determine the width and depth that your seat should have. While sitting, have a helper measure straight across your backside from the widest points of your hip. Add two inches to this measurement to give yourself a little extra room. This is the width of the seat that you will need.
Next, while still sitting, measure from the point where your backside touches the chair straight down to the bend of your knee. Stop this measurement two inches before the back of your knee. This is the depth that you will need in a seat.
Seat Back Height
The average height of a scooter or wheelchair seat is 16”, but you may be more comfortable with a back that is higher or lower. While sitting, measure from the base of the height to the point on your back where you would like the top of the seat back to end.
When measuring your seat height for a scooter, you will need to measure the distance from the back of your knee to your heel. This will position the scooter so that your feet are flat on the platform. Many scooters come with adjustable seat heights, but you should still make sure that your ideal seat height is within the scooter’s range of adjustability.
If you’re measuring for a wheelchair’s seat height, you may want the seat to be somewhat higher if you will be using footrests. However, if you’ll be propelling the wheelchair with your feet, then the above seat height measurement should be appropriate.
Armrests vary in both style and height. You’ll most often find full-length and desk-length armrests. Full-length armrests are best if you will be doing stand-up pivot transfers, since the armrests provide plenty of support. If you will be sitting at a desk or don’t require stand-up pivots, then desk-length armrests may be a better choice. They offer a little more freedom for maneuverability. Flip-back armrests are ideal for this type of situation, since they’ll flip back and allow you easy access to the scooter.
In order to determine the appropriate armrest height, sit with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Have a helper measure the distance from the bottom of your elbows to the seat; this is your armrest height.
Buying the Right Scooter
Whether you’re buying a scooter, wheelchair, or powerchair, finding a product with the right fit is essential to your comfort and enjoyment of the product. Please don’t hesitate to contact Med Mart with any questions; we would be happy to help you find the right product for you in just the size that you need.