Lightweight wheelchairs are excellent choices for anyone who is going to be in a wheelchair long-term. These wheelchairs feature frames which are significantly lighter than those used in traditional wheelchairs. Because the overall weight of the wheelchair is reduced, the wheelchair is easier to maneuver and propel, both indoors and outdoors.
Standard wheelchairs are heavier than their lightweight counterparts, and the increased weight can make you uncomfortable and tired when using the wheelchair. Lightweight wheelchairs can help to keep you more comfortable. Additionally, since you’ll be propelling less weight, the chance of you developing physical issues in your shoulders and wrists is reduced by a lightweight wheelchair.
Most lightweight wheelchairs are built with aluminum frames. Aluminum makes for a strong yet lightweight frame, creating the base of the wheelchair. Lightweight wheelchairs typically weigh between 30 and 34 pounds, and they often fold up for easy portability.
Because lightweight wheelchairs are designed for long-term use, you’ll find that they have many features and options to choose from. You will often be able to choose the armrest and footrest style and design, and many wheelchairs also offer elevating legrests for increased comfort and versatility. Be sure to consider whether an angle-adjustable back is right for you. You’ll also find that some wheelchairs feature ergonomic design and sculpted seat cushions for the ultimate in support.
When it comes to lightweight wheelchairs, you can choose a very basic option or can go for a highly stylish, almost custom-built wheelchair. Lightweight wheelchairs include weight capacities ranging from 220 to 350 pounds, making these wheelchairs suitable choices for many.
The decision to invest in a lightweight wheelchair will depend on your preferences and the wheelchair’s intended use. For short-term use, a traditional wheelchair may suffice. If you face a longer recovery or will be using the wheelchair indefinitely, then it may be well worth the investment to purchase a lightweight wheelchair.
Consider Available Features
When buying a lightweight wheelchair, you might be tempted to buy the lightest wheelchair that you can find. And while weight is important, don’t ignore the features which are available on each wheelchair. You may find that it’s well worth the sacrifice of a pound or two of weight in order to have the comfort of an ergonomically designed seat and back support.
Consider Your Health
If you will be using a wheelchair long-term, it’s important to consider the value of your health. Propelling a traditional wheelchair up hills, ramps, and through buildings can be quickly tiring, and requires excellent upper body strength. The repetitive act of propelling a heavy wheelchair can cause strain and injury in your shoulders, wrists, and more. Carefully consider whether a lightweight wheelchair may help to preserve your health.