15. Seating Prescription – Upper Limb Support when Seated

Upper limb support is essential to prevent drag, relieve stress on the neck muscles and promote comfort. The upper limbs should not be providing trunk support as this will restrict an individual’s function as they become confined to a load-bearing role.

Remember, even if an individual is able to achieve the gold standard 90-90-90 sitting position, their weight distribution is as follows1:

  1. Through the buttocks & thighs: 75%
  2. Through the feet: 19%
  3. Through the arms rests: 2%
  4. Through the back: 4%                                     

Therefore, arm rests set at the correct height with adequate support is an important part of weight distribution and pressure care.

This video discusses the importance of upper limb support. Watch our video Seating Prescription – Thorax and Shoulder Girdle for further information on trunk support. Also, keep an eye out for other videos in our series that look in to seating prescription, specifically around pressure care.

Visit our Health section to read more about postural challenges and how to address them with our range of specialist seating products.


  1. Collins F (2001) Selecting cushions and armchairs: how to make an informed choice Journal of Wound Care / Therapy Weekly Supplement 13(5)

Disclaimer: Ensure the assessment and prescription is completed by an experienced and qualified professional who has the competence and confidence required. Or contact us to book a free no-obligation assessment with our own seating assessors.