Good residential seating is the key to many activities. By reducing the amount of effort and energy wasted trying to stay sitting up straight, a child will find it easier to carry out important daily activities, such as feeding, playing and learning.

Good residential seating provides the following benefits:

  • It will reduce the automatic reflexes and abnormal movements associated with some disabilities, e.g. cerebral palsy, which results in whole-body movements such as an extension spasm
  • It will provide support for children with floppy muscles who need extra support to sit up straight
  • It will allow for further development of postural control
  • It can help to prevent permanent postural problems from developing or getting worse e.g. joint contractures, scoliosis or hip displacement
  • It may also help to keep the body in a particular position once corrective surgery has taken place
  • A more upright position can improve head control and lead to improved eye contact, communication and social skills
  • It will improve hand and arm control. A good, supportive seating system will allow children to use their hands for functional activities, such as using communication equipment, propelling a wheelchair, writing, feeding and accessing computers
  • It will increase independence
  • It will improve comfort
  • It will allow the heart, lungs and digestive system to work more efficiently.

Using a computer

Having the correct posture whilst using a computer is very important. A poor posture can result in back pain, neck pain, fatigue and if it continues, long term health concerns. Further information on recommended postures and workstation set up is available from:

BackCare, the charity for healthier backs, have a guide for office workers on posture, seating and behaviours that protect the back. This includes advice on the recommended sitting posture. Back Care – Office workers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produce a publication Working with VDUs which includes advice and a diagram showing a recommended sitting position when using a computer.