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The Tilt-In-Space Advantage: A Guide To Better Comfort And Support In Manual Wheelchairs

If you’ve been a wheelchair user for any amount of time, you’ve probably had the misfortune of experiencing the uncomfortable, stiff ride of a manual wheelchair.

But what if we told you that there's a way to make it more comfortable and supportive? It’s true. There’s a technology called tilt-in-space that’s currently revolutionising the world of manual wheelchairs.

Sound interesting? You’re in luck because this is our topic of focus today.

Join us as we explore the fascinating world of tilt-in-space technology, how it works, and, most importantly, why it's so beneficial for those with limited mobility.

We’ll also take a look at some of the top tilt-in-space wheelchair options provided by Mobility Shop Direct—a top mobility aids retailer founded by David, a pharmacist striving to make fellow Aussies' lives better.

So come along and learn how:

  • To find and choose the right tilt-in-space chair for your support needs
  • Tilt-in-space wheelchairs can improve your mobility and comfort
  • The proper angles and positioning techniques for pressure relief

But first, let’s get better acquainted with the technology….

What is Tilt-in-Space?

Tilt-in-space refers to a wheelchair feature that allows the entire chair to shift its position on its frame as a unit while maintaining the angles of your hips, knees and ankles. The chair tilts backwards in relation to the ground, but the seat-to-backrest angle remains unchanged.

This ability to adjust your seating position and recline at various angles throughout the day makes tilt-in-space wheelchairs among the most comfortable options on the market.

But that’s not all a tilt-in-space wheelchair is good for. You see, while the tilt feature allows you to adjust your sitting position and recline, it still ensures the postural support that helps reduce fatigue and prevent injuries.

But tilt-in-space wheelchairs are not to be confused with reclining wheelchairs. You see, a tilt-in-space wheelchair tilts back, allowing pressure to move from your bottom area to the backrest.

This pressure redistribution is ideal if you spend a lot of time in your wheelchair as it significantly reduces the likelihood of developing pressure sores while greatly improving your comfort. The tilt position is also better for optimising bodily functions like breathing, swallowing, and digestion.

On the other hand, a reclining wheelchair will adjust your body placement, having your hips open and placing you in an almost vertical position. This is why you have to be careful not to slide off when using a reclining wheelchair.

The Benefits of Tilt-in-Space and How it Can Improve Your Quality of Life

Tilting in space allows you to experience a whole new level of relaxation and stability that will dramatically improve your quality of life.

With the tilt-in-space advantage, you can enjoy improved posture control and comfort levels while relieving pressure from your bottom, hips and lower back.

This is especially helpful if you’re prone to developing pressure sores or suffer from conditions such as a spinal cord injury or arthritis.

In addition to the improved comfort levels, tilt-in-space wheelchairs enhance your manoeuvrability. You'll be able to easily move through your world without having to worry about discomfort or fatigue from sitting in one position for too long.

Better still, because the chair is adjustable, you can customise it to fit your specific needs and preferences. You see, tilt-in-space wheelchairs are designed to enhance your independence in your daily activities.

They provide the ideal combination of comfort and function, especially if you need a little extra help getting into different positions, or maintaining them over longer periods.

But these don’t make the exhaustive list of benefits you can look forward to from a tilt-in-space wheelchair. So here are a few more ways the tilt-in-space wheelchair will make your life easier:

  • Improved posture: tilting helps defy the detrimental effect gravity has on your posture—pushing down and pulling you forward.

    Tilting back on your wheelchair helps maintain a mid-line postural position thereby preventing postural deviation.

  • Pressure redistribution: tilt-in-space is effective at redistributing pressure and reducing the risk of injury from sitting in one position for a long time.

    It takes pressure off bony prominences and weight-bearing areas effectively reducing the risk of skin breakdown and preventing pressure injuries.

  • Improves head and trunk control: tilt-in-space helps mitigate the effects of reduced muscle strength on your posture by keeping your spine, head, and torso in a neutral supported position.

    This helps improve your positioning and ultimately, your comfort.

  • Reduces the risk of falls and sliding: a tilt-in-space wheelchair changes your centre of gravity contributing to better positioning, thereby reducing the risk of sliding off the chair and falling.

    The tilt position can even reduce agitation in people with neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, which is a key contributor to falls from chairs.

  • Helps with corrective positioning: tilt-in-space is beneficial in supporting posture for people with a fixed or flexible spinal contracture, such as kyphosis as a result of arthritis.

    When tilted back, tilt-in-space wheelchairs offer support to the head, neck and shoulders allowing you increased function and reducing the limiting impact of kyphosis on your ability to socialise and interact with your surroundings.

The table below provides a comprehensive comparison between Tilt-In-Space wheelchairs and traditional wheelchairs, highlighting the distinct advantages that Tilt-In-Space models offer in terms of pressure distribution, comfort, posture support, user independence, customisation, and pricing.

Aspect Tilt-In-Space Wheelchairs Traditional Wheelchairs
Pressure Distribution Evenly distributes pressure, reducing risks of pressure sores Concentrates pressure on specific points
Comfort Offers adjustable seating positions for enhanced comfort Limited adjustability may lead to discomfort
Posture Support Provides better support for users with postural issues Minimal postural support features
User Independence Allows users to shift positions independently Requires assistance for repositioning
Customisation Adjustable tilt angles and seat cushions for customisation Limited customisation options

Understanding Tilt-in-Space Angles and the Ideal Angle for You

Tilt-in-space wheelchairs typically come with an adjustable range of between 0° up to 45° or more in some cases, so you can find exactly the right angle for your needs.

But what exactly is “the right angle of tilt” for you?

Well, the ideal tilt angle for you depends on several factors including your body type, physical abilities and personal preference. As such, to find this angle, you may have to do some experimenting.

But as you do so, there are some things you will need to keep in mind:

The more the angle of tilt, the greater the level of pressure relief, but only to a point. You see, beyond 45° your body weight starts to load through the backrest increasing pressure on your upper pelvis, spine, shoulders and head.

According to research, tilt angles between 15° and 30° are ideal for improving positioning and increasing mobility while reducing the likelihood of sliding. Larger tilt angles—between 30° and 45° are better if you’re at risk of developing pressure injuries.

This puts the optimum angle for effective weight shift and pressure management between 30° and 45°.

Also, worth noting is that in this research, “... the greatest reduction in pressures when a combination of tilt and recline were used together, with the studies using 25–45° of tilt with 110–150° of recline.”

Keeping this in mind, you can proceed to find your ideal angle of tilt. To do so, start with an angle between 15° and 20° while sitting upright in the chair. This is because you want to start with your feet flat on the floor.

From there, increase or decrease the angle until you find what feels most comfortable for your body—where you’re free to move around without fear of losing balance or the support provided by your wheelchair. That’s your ideal angle of wheelchair tilt.

Additionally, remember to adjust the seat, backrest, armrests and footplates of your tilt-in-space wheelchair according to your size in order to ensure that you are at an optimal angle for comfort and support throughout the day.

This will help reduce pain, discomfort or fatigue associated with sitting in a fixed position for long periods.

It’s also recommended that you periodically check these adjustments as needed throughout the day—certain postures may become uncomfortable over time due to changing body positions or shifts in weight distribution.

Now, you can enjoy the relief from pressure, better circulation, improved breathing and unmatched comfort that comes with your tilt-in-space wheelchair.

Types of Tilt-in-Space Wheelchairs

Tilt-in-space wheelchairs come in a variety of styles, giving you the flexibility to find the perfect fit for your individual needs.

From recline positions and ergonomic support to stability features and anti-tips, there are plenty of options available.

With adjustable footrests, armrests, headrests, leg rests, back height and angle adjustments, these chairs ensure that you'll have a comfortable seat all day long.

At Mobility Shop Direct, we offer a number of tilt-in-space wheelchairs, let’s explore two of our most popular offerings:

DAYS Tilt and Recline Adjustable Wheelchair

DAYS Tilt and Recline Adjustable Wheelchair

Described by Rachel, one of our happy customers, as “... very comfortable to sit on, easy to adjust, recline, and navigate both indoors and outdoors very smoothly…. ” The Days Tilt and Recline Adjustable Wheelchair is definitely a top option in its class.

The wheelchair is specially designed to relieve pressure, support manual mobility, help manage spasticity and provide supportive seating.

To do this, this tilt-in-space wheelchair features enhanced comfort through a wide range of adjustments for seat depth, seat back height, knee angle, seat width, seat back angle, seat angle, and lower length.

This incredible level of adjustability makes the Days Tilt and Recline Adjustable Wheelchair one of the best tilt-in-space options to adapt to your individual size and comfort needs.

DRIVE IDSOFT Tilt and Recline Wheelchair Multi Adjustable

DRIVE IDSOFT Tilt and Recline Wheelchair

This tilt-in-space wheelchair is specially designed to provide improved ergonomics and comfort support. It also features a wide range of adjustments for seat depth, seat-back height, knee angle, seat width, seat-back angle, seat angle, and lower length.

But the wheelchair takes things a step further, by providing supportive seating and enhanced comfort for people who spend long periods of time in their wheelchair and need assistance with their posture.

The DRIVE IDSOFT Tilt and Recline Wheelchair further provides infinite manual chair adjustments for the backrest and seat angle, which are easily operated through a push handle.

To support this level of adjustability, it also features a sturdy frame design to ensure the wheelchair remains steady no matter the backrest and seat angle.

These features, in addition to the padded adjustable headrest with multi-positional ear cushions and elevating leg rests for added support and pressure relief make this tilt-in-space wheelchair among the best adjustable mobility options on the market.

Bonus: Join our exclusive Mobility Shop Direct Insider List today to be the first to know when this amazing wheelchair is back in stock and enjoy free shipping to the Eastern Metro and Inner Regional suburbs in Australia.

Choosing the Right Tilt-in-Space Wheelchair

An ideal wheelchair should provide pressure relief, posture support, and user comfort while also being the correct size for you.

This holds true for tilt-in-space wheelchairs too, especially so because the right tilt-in-space wheelchair will make a huge difference in your mobility and overall comfort.

To help you find the perfect fit, here are some key tips to keep in mind:

  • Pressure relief: Make sure that your wheelchair is designed to evenly distribute your body weight and reduce pressure points. You can do this by ensuring that it has enough adjustability to achieve your perfect angle of tilt.
  • Posture support: Look for a backrest that provides adequate lumbar support and adjustable positioning to improve posture.
  • Wheelchair sizing: Measure yourself accurately before selecting a chair so it fits comfortably without forcing you into any unnatural postures or positions. To do this:
    • Measure the widest part of your body while in a sitting position, typically across the hips or thighs, and add an inch or two to account for movement, bulky clothes or a side cushion.
    • Establish your back height by measuring the distance from your bottom to the underside of your arm. Add half the thickness of your seat cushion and subtract 4 inches if you have good trunk support, and 3 inches if not.
    • Calculate your seat depth by measuring the distance between the rear of your bottom to the back of the knee. Add the thickness of your back cushion, if you use one, and subtract 2½ inches.

No matter the tilt-in-space wheelchair you choose, make sure it is tailored specifically to meet your individual needs and preferences.

Take into account all the features mentioned above to ensure optimal satisfaction from your purchase.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please call us on 1300 132 952 anytime between 9 am and 7 pm from Monday to Friday AEST.

Alternatively, you can also get in touch through our website, or send us an email at: support@mobilityshopdirect.com.au.

Get the Most From Your Tilt-in-Space Wheelchair

To get the most from your tilt-in-space wheelchair, there are a few things you’ll need to do. For example, you’ll need to ensure regular care and maintenance—an essential element of keeping your tilt-in-space wheelchair in top condition.

Here are a few more tips to help you get the most out of your wheelchair:

Ensure Proper Cleaning

Regularly clean your tilt-in-space wheelchair with warm water, mild all-purpose detergents, and a soft cloth.

Do not use bleach and other harsh cleaning chemicals. These are your first line of defence against wear and tear.

Expert Tip: While cleaning, be sure to inspect your chair for any loose parts or signs of damage and have the necessary repairs carried out before each use.

Pick the Right Accessories

Wheelchair Gloves Half-Finger Pair

Using the right accessories will make all the difference when it comes to your comfort and safety when in your tilt-in-space wheelchair.

Browse through Mobility Shop Direct’s collection of wheelchair accessories to find the best armrests, footplates, cushions, leg rests, back supports and anti-tip bars that fit both your body type and lifestyle needs perfectly.

Protect Your Skin When Using Your Wheelchair

A proper cushion is essential to protect your skin from pressure sores that can occur as a result of long-term tilt-in-space wheelchair use.

When shopping for the best cushion, opt for moisture-resistant materials like foam or gel that provide the ideal wheelchair positioning and comfort when seated throughout the day.

Convoluted Foam Cushion Gel Permeated Layer Contour Coccyx Foam Cushion

Convoluted Foam Cushion Gel Pemeated Layer

The open cell convoluted foam promotes increased air circulation, while the low-density pink foam moulds to the body's shape, providing optimal comfort and uniform pressure relief.

Our cushion is also bacteria-free and machine washable up to 95℃, ensuring hygiene and easy maintenance.

Contour Coccyx Foam Cushion

This cushion is ideal if you suffer from pain or discomfort in your coccyx area due to sitting for long periods of time, haemorrhoids or post-operative recovery.

Manufactured to the highest quality with ISO13485, ISO9001, CE, and FDA Accreditation, and comes with 12 Month Manufacturer's Warranty.

Additionally, consider taking frequent breaks between uses to allow for proper circulation and posture correction during extended periods of sitting.

As ever, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about using your tilt-in-space wheelchair. 

Taking these steps now will ensure optimal performance and comfort, while adding years of life to this adjustable mobility aid.

Discover The Best Deals Tilt-in-Space Wheelchairs and Other Mobility Aids

Now that you have a better understanding of tilt-in-space technology and how it can improve your comfort and mobility, there’s just one thing left to do—find the best deal on a tilt-in-space wheelchair and live your best life.

This is where Mobility Shop Direct comes in—the mobility aids experts.

At Mobility Shop Direct, we’re passionate about the products we sell and our customers. This is why we strive to be the most customer-centric brand in the mobility aids market.

This passion is also reflected in our mission: To empower Australians to maintain their mobility, independence and freedom.

As such, we’ve set up our business to not only provide the best prices online but also provide you with value-added benefits with each purchase, including:

  • World-class customer support
  • The best return policy anywhere
  • Free shipping and lighting-fast deliveries

So no matter the mobility aid you need, from Rollators to tilt-in-space, or plain manual wheelchairs, visit Mobility Shop Direct today to find the best deals and reclaim your comfort and mobility.

"Very good service and good price. The chair was just what I needed and is of pretty good quality. I would recommend this seller and the product." - Ron C., Verified Buyer, Australia

Additional Reading: 5 Helpful Tips for First Time Wheelchair Users

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