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Wheelchair Assessment Measuring Guide

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Taking proper and accurate measurements of the client is an essential part of the seating and wheeled mobility equipment provision process. According to the document A Clinican Application Guide to Standardized Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces, Revised Edition (Waugh & Crane 2013), there are 36 linear body measures. However, which of the linear body measurements that need to be taken on a specific client may vary and depends on the complexity of the needs of the individual.

As with the entire wheelchair provision process, taking measurements should be considered a team effort. It is appropriate for both the clinician and the complex rehabilitation technology supplier to be involved in taking measurements. 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 while the measurements are being taken. The measurements should be taken without compressing the body and include the soft tissue. Use firm measuring tools such as hard measuring tape, measuring stick, or calipers for increased accuracy.

The Wheelchair Assessment Measuring Guide below highlights 14 of the most commonly used measures.

Download the Wheelchair Assessment Measuring Guide

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.

Clinical Support Information Citations

  1. Buck, S. N. (2009). More than 4 wheels: Applying clinical practice to seating, mobility, and assistive technology. Milton, ON: Therapy Now!
  2. Lange, M. L., & Minkel, J. (2017). Seating and wheeled mobility: A clinical resource guide. Thorofare, NJ: Slack Incorporated.
  3. Spinal Seating Modules. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  4. Waugh, K. & Crane, B. (2013). A Clinical Application Guide to Standardized Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces. University of Colorado/Assistive Technology Partners.
  5. Zollars, J. A. (2010). Special seating: An illustrated guide. Albuquerque, NM: Prickly Pear Publications.

Published: 2/15/2019

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