13. Seating Prescription – The Lower Legs and Feet

Unsupported lower legs can affect the position of the thighs and therefore the stability at the pelvis. Insufficient foot support can also negatively impact on postural stability; we naturally seek support through our feet to obtain the proprioceptive feedback required.

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%                                     

Without the feet supported, where does 19% of the individual’s body weight go? They could potentially have 94% of their body weight just going through their buttocks and thighs, and we wonder why individuals are sadly developing pressure injuries.

This video demonstrates the importance of ensuring adequate lower leg and foot support, and discusses the need to ensure appropriate chair set-up and use of functions based on the user’s posture and range of movement.

Watch our video Objective Assessment – Critical Angles for Sitting for further information, and keep an eye out for other videos in our series that look in to seating prescription, specifically how to address the critical angles for sitting.

You can learn more about chair set-up and how specialist seating functions can help when used appropriately in our Posture Management section. Or read about our pressure relieving WaterCell Technology, which is at the heart of our specialist seating.

References:

  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.