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The Role of Manual Wheelchairs in Promoting Independence and Mobility for Users

The wheelchair is one of the most commonly used assistive tools for enhancing independence and mobility. It gives you the ability to move freely, socialise and do what you love. 

But to reap all the benefits of using a manual wheelchair, you need one that suits your specific needs and also:

  • Provides the proper postural support 
  • Is easily accessed and maintained
  • Is safe to use and durable

While different wheelchairs meet these criteria, today we’ll focus on the manual wheelchair and the role it plays in promoting your independence and mobility. Among the topics we’ll consider are:

  • How a manual wheelchair restores your ability to move independently
  • The positive effect a manual wheelchair can have on your quality of life 
  • The freedom that comes with unassisted travel and its impact 

But first, a quick manual wheelchair breakdown. 

The manual wheelchair, or standard wheelchair, is a mobility chair that features large rear wheels that are easily reachable when seated. Using these wheels, you can manually push yourself forward. 

Usually, these chairs have handles at the back that allow caregivers or others to push them. They also feature a lightweight construction and collapsible design for easy transportation. 

With that out of the way, let's take a closer look at the impact a manual wheelchair can have on your well-being and overall quality of life.

Table of Contents

1: Manual Wheelchairs Help Restore Your Ability to Move

ride through the park on a manual wheelchair

Manual wheelchairs are specifically designed to be light and manoeuvre around tight spaces. This makes them incredibly versatile and easy to use around the home. 

But don’t mistake their lightweight construction to mean they are any less capable outside the home. They’re robust enough for use outside your home. They especially come in handy over difficult terrain, pavement, and slopes. 

Better still, thanks to the Australian Standard for Wheelchair Access (AS 1428.1), most public spaces and transportation services are wheelchair accessible. This makes navigating the world and doing the things you love that much easier. 

But why would you want to take your manual wheelchair out with you, you wonder? 

Well, besides being useful in terms of mobility, a manual wheelchair is also a great source of exercise. You see, the action of manually propelling yourself forward using the chair engages your muscles and gives you a workout.

This is important because studies have shown that physical activity is essential for improving and maintaining your physical and mental health

But that's not all, an active lifestyle, even one aided by a wheelchair, will do wonders for your cardiovascular health and can delay the onset of arthritis. 

Best of all, a manual wheelchair allows you to enjoy a full life, one in which you are free to move as you please and do the things you love.

But don't just take it from us. Here’s what one of our happy customers had to say about her wheelchair:

“Very easy to manoeuvre and great value… it’s a sturdy lightweight chair, great for everyday use.”
Anne L.|★★★★★

Related: Best 5 Tips to Live Independently at Home

role of manual wheelchairs promoting independence and mobility photo snippet

2: Manual Wheelchairs Grant You Increased Independence

If you find yourself experiencing decreased mobility, a manual wheelchair will allow you to move freely and unaided. It allows for more flexibility for you and your caregivers, and it grants you the freedom to do what you need.

man with limited mobility getting assistance to stand

A manual wheelchair is designed to provide easy navigation through the world and reduce the risk and fear of falling. This grants you the autonomy to move about your home, or outdoors, confidently, ultimately giving you more control over your life. 

The ability to move around freely comes with many other benefits, including increased physical activity, which, as we’ve learned, is essential to your health and well-being. 

Beyond that, this independent movement means you can participate in the activities you wish and potentially even increase your productivity.

Need help finding the best wheelchair for you? Reach out to Mobility Shop Direct. We’d be happy to help get you sorted ASAP, so you can enjoy unrestricted movement.

Related: Reduce Your Risk of Falling at Home

3: Manual Wheelchairs Make Socialising Easier

group of elderly friends laughing

One of the first things to take a hit when you experience decreased mobility is the ability to participate in social activities

This can be quite a blow, given how vital social interaction is to our emotional wellbeing. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to maintain a healthy social life. 

This is where a manual wheelchair comes in. A wheelchair will allow you to do the things you enjoy with the people you love—walking (or rolling) around the park with your friends, visiting a gallery or having afternoon tea at your favourite spot.

Access to and participation in community life are key contributors to a high quality of life. But to access your community and actively participate, you’ll need mobility and independence. Which is precisely what a manual wheelchair offers. 

Now, we appreciate that there’s much to consider when buying a wheelchair—it’s a significant investment. But we’re here to help. Here are two of our top choices to start you off, along with what some happy customers had to say about them.

DAYS Swift manual wheelchair

DAYS Swift Self-Propelled Wheelchair with Handbrakes

Buy Now

DAYS Swift ultra lightweight wheelchair

DAYS Swift Ultra Lightweight Compact Portable Wheelchair

Buy Now

“Very happy with the product. Easy to fold, very light to lift. Delivery was less than a week”
Mona T.|★★★★★

“ … Easy to expand and collapse. Fits in the boot of my small car and light enough for me to lift in and out … ”
Karen H.|★★★★★

“The chair is the second of that type I’ve purchased, being the narrowest and lightest I could find. Delivery was very swift.”
Dimitri C.| ★★★★★

For more options, information and assistance, you can visit our online store at Mobility Shop Direct. For a guide on everything you need to know about buying a wheelchair, check out our Best Wheelchair Buying Guide 2023 blog post.

About Mobility Shop Direct

Founded in 2019 by David Thiu, Mobility Shop Direct is a mobility aid store dedicated to providing easy access to mobility aids and related information. 

At Mobility Shop Direct, we’re passionate about the mobility aids we sell and our customers. As such, it’s our goal to be the most customer-oriented brand in the mobility aid field. 

We do this through our guiding principles, which set us apart from the competition. These principles include the following:

  • We strive to empower our customers so they can maintain their mobility, independence and freedom.
  • We offer the best prices online (to make it easier to access mobility aids) and the best return policy in case of any issues.
  • We pair our unbeatable prices with free shipping to all Eastern Metro and inner regional suburbs of Australia, along with lightning fast delivery.
  • We offer world-class customer service to ensure a seamless interaction where all your needs are met. 

At Mobility Shop Direct, our mission is simple. We want to help you maintain your mobility and independence, and we appreciate the crucial role mobility aids play in that. 

We also understand that buying a wheelchair is a significant investment, and want to make the process as easy as possible. 

Place your order today through our online shop and experience our world-class customer support. You can also call us if you have any questions at 1300 132 952, or send us an email at support@mobilityshopdirect.com.au.

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