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.