Our body posture changes and we reposition frequently throughout the day, depending on our comfort levels or the task we are performing.
If you have a physical disability you may either find it difficult or be unable to change your body posture or position independently. If you use a wheelchair, often the ability to move in and out of a variety of postures while you are sitting is lacking, because of muscle weakness, muscle spasticity, paralysis, poor coordination or balance. As a result of this, you may sit in static, habitual, often asymmetrical postures which can negatively impact on your health, comfort, and ability to function.
Proper positioning has long been recognized as an important consideration when evaluating and recommending seating systems for wheelchairs. However, clinicians are beginning to realize the importance of looking at a person’s posture throughout their 24- hour day.
24 hour positioning looks at all of the different positions and supportive equipment that a person uses throughout their 24 hour day, and tries to optimize postural alignment as much as possible in all environments, including during sleeping.
An evaluation of your positioning will look at how you are positioned in your wheelchair, in bed and during the daytime when you are out of your chair. Often during a 24 hours the least time is spent in a wheelchair which has the most postural support. It is important to look at what postures are happening when not in the wheelchair and whether these are damaging/destructive to proper alignment.
Sleep Positioning is the specific therapeutic positioning of a person’s body during sleep.
Sleep Positioning has three main goals:
• To improve the quality and duration of sleep
• To promote health and maintain safety during sleep
• To prevent or lessen the development of orthopedic deformities