Survey Results: Building a Case for Dynamic Seating

July 26, 2016 by Lori Potts, PT

Occupational therapist Michelle Lange recently conducted a survey on dynamic seating. Her questions focused on wheelchairs that have dynamic components integrated into or added to the design. Over 100 clinicians and suppliers responded and it’s clear that we’re seeing an increased appreciation for dynamic adaptive equipment for children and clients with unique positioning needs.

Michelle comments, “Dynamic seating options have been available for some time. However, they continue to be underutilized. This survey was designed to gather information on how frequently dynamic seating is currently being used, for what applications, and what barriers there are to more extensive use. This information will be used for educational purposes and may be published in the future.”

Survey Summary

While the full survey summary can be found here, I selected a few of the survey responses that I found particularly interesting.

Are you currently using dynamic seating?

  1. Yes     86.7%
  2. No      13.1%

Survey results showing Yes and No responses in a pie chart on use of dynamic seating 










For what body area do you most frequently apply dynamic movement?

  1. Trunk                          35.6%
  2. Lower Extremities      30.3%
  3. Pelvis                          23.3%
  4. Head                           7.9%
  5. Upper Extremities       8.3%

Survey results showing trunk, lower extremities, pelvis, head and upper extremities results in a pie chart for dynamic movements












For which client populations do you most frequently apply dynamic movement?

  1. Clients with increased muscle tone (i.e. cerebral palsy, brain injury)      79.4%
  2. Clients who need movement (i.e. clients who tend to rock)                     20.6%

 Survey results showing clients needs in a pie chart for apply dynamic movement


 Do you believe that dynamic seating is underutilized in our field?

  1. Yes      88.9%
  2. No       11.1%

 Survey results showing Yes and No responses in a pie chart for dynamic seating utilization















About the Author

Michelle Lange, the author of the survey, is a registered, licensed occupational therapist and a member of the American Board of Disability Analysts as well as a credentialed assistive technology professional. For the past ten years she has run Access to Independence, Inc., an organization based in Arvada, Colorado, dedicated to providing assistive technology solutions to people with disabilities.

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Reply by Drew on July 27, 2016 at 10:21 AM
Thank you for your informative and useful emails. I had been fighting an uphill battle to keep several older Rifton activity chairs for use with new students in my preschool class for children with severe and profound disabilities. There was an impression that I was hoarding old equipment and did not know how to use it. Your articles on "Positioning for Cognition" among others was key. Without any equipment yet and possibly months before they would have their own, now they could start school and be able to use chairs adjusted for them with trays for activities and not have to lay on beanbags or stay in strollers. Thank you.
Reply by Rita on July 27, 2016 at 4:06 PM
Great article! I am a huge fan of dynamic seating components as I've seen how successfully they can both reduce friction/shearing on the person's body and decrease hardware breakdown. One aspect of using dynamic components that I have found challenging is figuring out how they will work for a person without being able to trial it. For example, I had a client that had very strong extensor spasticity, and I ordered a "medium" force dynamic footrest component for her thinking that she would be more than able to engage it. It was stated as requiring 20 lbs of pressure to engage. She was not able to engage it, and therefore the benefit of the dynamic system was not realized.