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This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
Taking proper and accurate measurements of the client is an essential part of the seating and wheeled mobility equipment provision process.
A Clinician Application Guide to Standardized Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces, Revised Edition (Waugh & Crane 2013), defines 36 linear body measures. However, it would be impractical and unnecessary to use all of these in an assessment. Individual client needs and level of complexity determine which measurements are required.
As with the entire wheelchair provision process, taking measurements is a team effort. The clinician, the client and others in the client’s support team can be involved. The client should be in the desired seated posture on a flat, firm surface with his/her feet on the floor or supported by a firm platform at the appropriate height whilst the measurements are being taken. The measurements should be taken without compressing the body and include the soft tissue. Firm measuring tools such as a metal measuring tape, and calipers increase accuracy.
The Wheelchair Assessment Measuring Guide below highlights 14 of the most commonly used measures.
Please refer to the Helpful Links section for access to a downloadable PDF of the Clinical Application Guide to Standardized Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces, which includes a definition and description of all of the linear measurements.