What Is the Ideal Seat Height for a Manual Wheelchair

There is not one ideal seat height for every user or every wheelchair, rather each individual user needs to be measured according to their body measurements.

How to measure the correct seat height

There are two ways to figure out the ideal seat height for the most effective seat propel;

  1. The first method (Figure 1) is to have the user place their hand directly above the push rim; the elbow should be around 100-120 degrees. Generally, this method is used in a clinical setting and is not easy to implement in a store setting. 
  2. Alternatively, have the user naturally hang their arms down both sides of the wheelchair (Figure 2).  The middle fingertip should not overlap the rear wheel axle. 

When you adjust the rear wheels, make sure to adjust the position of the brake accordingly.

A full spectrum of what adjustments can be made to the rear wheel, the effects of those adjustments, and how they help avoid Repetitive Strain Injury can be read here.


Not every wheelchair can be adjusted. You might need to find the best adjustable manual wheelchair first. With the correct rear wheel axle position, wheelchair adjustments, and proper propelling methods after training, the best wheel propelling can be achieved, and the probability of Repetitive Strain Injuries reduced.

If you are a dealer or distributor, then you can access videos on the Karma Academy to find out how to adjust Karma manual wheelchairs in more detail. If you are interested in becoming a dealer or distributor, you can contact our sales team: [email protected].

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