Sitting – for some the ultimate in comfort, for others a torture.
Do you also consider sitting in a comfortable armchair in front of the TV or reading a book in the evening to be a successful end to a day full of activity? But what is the ultimate in comfort for some is a burden for others. Many people whose mobility is restricted due to age or illness sit much more than they would like. Often this happens in an unsuitable armchair or wheelchair. Then sitting can quickly become a torment, because unsuitable seating furniture often causes further problems. But unnecessary suffering does not have to be. There are a wide variety of seating solutions for almost every need. So that sitting becomes a blessing for the back and intervertebral discs.
When choosing the right chair, 1 the seat height, 2 the seat depth and 3 the seat angle as well as 4 the height of the armrest and 5 the width are particularly important.
Experts agree that ideally, at least five criteria must be met to ensure “correct” sitting – and thus prevent back problems and mitigate illnesses caused by incorrect sitting: First, the seat height, seat depth and seat angle should be perfectly matched to the respective user. To do this, it’s best to choose an armchair where these requirements can be adjusted. Alternatively, you can resort to a custom-made armchair. Furthermore, the height of the armrests should correspond exactly to your individual body measurements, and the width must allow you to rest your arms comfortably. Armrests are optimal when your shoulders neither hang nor are pressed upwards. And finally, the lumbar (vertebrae), which are particularly stressed when sitting, need the right support.
In addition, the backrest of your new chair should reach at least to your shoulder joints. This way, your back will be well supported. It is better if the backrest is equipped with an additional headrest to relieve the head when you change to the resting or reclining position. To change the position and adapt to your current needs, armchairs should be infinitely adjustable. Intuitive operation, if the armchair is motorized, is another criterion that increases your enjoyment of the perfect armchair. An individually adjustable lordosis support, makes sitting perfect.
Do you have problems getting up from an armchair? Then an armchair with stand-up assistance is the ideal solution. Such armchairs automatically move to a position from which you can effortlessly get upright. Good stand-up chairs are designed in such a way that they do not push the body forward, but provide it with secure support until the stand-up position is reached; without the risk of slipping out of the chair.
The market for armchairs is large. In order not to get bogged down, we decided to focus on one partner whose products meet all the conditions for “proper” sitting one hundred percent: Wellco International in Best, a town with 30,000 inhabitants in the Netherlands. Thanks to decades of experience and scientific support, Wellco produces a wide range of relaxation chairs and special chairs for people with special needs under the fitFORM brand. In this context, the fitFORM armchairs offer the possibility of placing users in the heart-balancing position. This makes them an alternative to staying permanently in bed. In this way, affected persons can once again participate in family life, which usually takes place in the living room.
The fitFORM chair variants are as diverse as people themselves. It is therefore not surprising that the statement: “Every person is unique” is part of the manufacturer’s philosophy. It underscores the desire to offer the optimal seating solution for every person – a desire we wholeheartedly endorse.
fitFORM chairs are made to measure. That makes them unique. Equally uniform is their equipment with a height-adjustable and inflatable lumbar cushion. The diversity of the models, on the other hand, is created, for example, by the use of one or three motors as an alternative to body pressure adjustment. In this way, you can realize all the required settings for the back and seat as well as leg and foot rests. Extended leg rests can also be realized if required. Countless cover options in leather, fabric and microfiber, dozens of colors and seat foams in various degrees of hardness also provide thousands of choices to suit your personal taste and living environment.
Moving is better than sitting in style. That’s why Fitform developed fitMotion!
Unique to fitFORM is the fitMOTION system, which automatically takes care of your movement. With this system, Wellco addresses people who can only move a little or not at all, for example because they have paralysis, suffer from severe overweight due to type 2 diabetes or, as dementia patients, simply forget to move.
fitFORM is based on the two movement modules Pressure Relief and Slow Motion. If you sit upright in the chair, it moves almost imperceptibly by a few degrees every minute, alternately twice to the back and twice to the front. If the leg rest is in the relaxation or rest position, the chair vibrates every quarter of an hour, reminding you that it would be good to move. If you ignore this recommendation, the armchair automatically goes into a slow rocking motion.
Both modules ensure that the pressure under the buttocks, and thus the risk of decubitus (bedsores), is reduced at this point. At the same time, blood circulation and oxygen uptake by the skin are activated. Slow Motion also provides relaxation by counteracting fluid build-up in the lower legs.
The unique RCPM seating system to combat back pain.
The fitFORM RCPM system also provides automatic movement. RCPM stands for Rotary Continuous Passive Motion. This term means that the seat of an RCPM chair makes gentle rotational movements of 0.8º to the right and 0.8º to the left three to five times a minute while the backrest remains stationary. This continuously moves the spine. This stimulates the metabolism in the intervertebral discs. Back pain caused, for example, by sitting incorrectly at work can thus be reduced or even resolved. Also swellings of the feet and the lower legs, caused by sitting too long and motionless, decrease by RCPM. However, the RCPM seating system is not recommended for back pain caused by pelvic instability or a fractured vertebra.
Customize the chair to meet specific needs
fitFORM is not satisfied with the aforementioned thousands of possibilities for designing a chair. Thanks to extensive accessories, most of the chairs can be adapted even more specifically to certain clinical pictures or individual wishes and needs. In particular, people with muscular (for example, muscular atrophy, multiple sclerosis, poliomyletis), skeletal (for example, ankylosing spondylitis, Scheuermann’s disease or other curvatures of the skeletal apparatus) and edema disorders (for example, decubitus, lipedema, lower leg and foot edema) will find an ideal solution for them in the additional range.
The arthrodesis seating surface was specially designed for people with a leg amputation (prosthesis) or a hip-knee fusion. If a leg can only be bent incompletely, a lower seat height is often desired for this leg than for the healthy leg. A “normal” standard seat cannot provide adequate leg support and sitting posture in this case. The arthrodesis seating surface ensures that the corresponding leg is supported in an ergonomically correct manner.
- Antidecubitus seating surfaces
Antidecubitus seating surfaces can be individually adapted to the body weight and current living situation of the person affected. There are solutions with viscoelastic foams or the so-called Intelli-Gel. To prevent the formation of pressure ulcers, viscoelastic foams are easily adaptable. Intelli-Gel is preferred when mild formation of pressure ulcers (grade 2) occurs. Intelli-Gel offers a soft, resilient honeycomb structure and unique pressure relieving properties. The use of this material allows many patients to sit comfortably for significantly longer in a straight, symmetrical sitting posture.
People with spinal curvature have special needs. For them, this special kyphosis backrest was developed. It can be adapted to the shape of the back and allows the spine to penetrate deeper. As a result, the person sits up straight and the person is optimally supported. To allow people with kyphosis to sit more comfortably, the manufacturer makes the middle part of the backrest (position of the spine) with softer foams.
In addition, this backrest offers a second bend point next to the top swing headrest. This allows you to adjust the backrest to fit your back perfectly.
A fold-down side panel makes it easier for wheelchair users to transfer to the chair. When in use, the entire side section is simply folded up towards the rear. If it is too difficult to fold up the side section manually, it is possible to integrate an electrically foldable side section. With this variant, an additional hand control is used to control the motorized folding up of the side section.
In case you need to transport the chair together with the person sitting in it, FitForm has developed the Mobility-Kit. This is characterized by a large handle on the back. With the help of this handle it is possible to move the chair comfortably – with little effort. The Mobility-Kit is used for transport over short distances, for example in a week order from one room to another. It can be used only on smooth floors.
The self-braking castor system allows you to move your Fitform chair over smaller distances on smooth floors thanks to virtually invisible casters – as long as no one is sitting in it. The casters are self-braking to prevent accidents. You make the casters contact the floor with a small lever. A third caster at the rear simplifies navigation. The casters are discreetly integrated into the chair so that the shape of the chair is optiomally preserved.
ILP (Dutch: Individuele Laterale Polsterrugleuning) can be translated in German as “individually laterally padded backrest”. This service uses replaceable foam pads to adapt the backrest to the user’s personal needs. This ensures an upright, ergonomically correct sitting position. The optimum back support is determined with the help of a specially adapted chair. The chair is then either fitted with the cushions from the factory or the dealer installs the cushions on site at the customer’s premises.
The footrest of a properly fitted Fitform custom chair is usually long enough to fully support the lower legs. However, there are exceptions where the user wants or needs additional support for the feet. For this purpose, Fitform offers the option of an additional extended footrest. This is about eight centimeters long and extends automatically when the footrests are extended.
It is attached in such a way that the legs/feet are not overstretched.
It is not visible in the normal position of the chair. In the standard version, this option is supplied with a black plastic cover. However, you can – for an additional charge – also get a version in the cover of the chair.