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Benefits of standing and standing frame activities.

Why Do You Stand? Please Give Us Your Thoughts…

When you have a wheelchair, it is obvious what it is for and what you do with it. When someone is using a stander for a standing program, the reasons they give for standing can vary greatly. Sometimes the obvious reason may not be the main reason why that specific individual participates. For instance, I run in the woods on trails almost every day. People might think that I do this for physical purposes, like good health, but my real reason is more mental, to eliminate stress by getting away from the city.

I have met some people that stand consistently every morning for breakfast Read more

airplane

What Drives People to Stand? (Beyond Medical Reasons)

 

Recently I was confined to a window seat in the back row of an airplane after a long week of work, and I wanted to stand up and stretch. I opted not to because it would’ve in-convenienced the guy next to me who looked tired and on top of that he didn’t speak my language. With a few hours of flight time left I started thinking about what drives a person to want to get into a standing position. Not a wheelchair user myself, I wonder what my motivations would be if getting into a standing position required more than a subconscious thought and almost involuntary movement. What if my flight lasted a lifetime rather than a couple hours?

I think that motivations can be different for each person. Understanding individual motivations might be easier to identify when you consider the person’s diagnosis, age, environment and the things they are trying to accomplish.

If you review the easystand.com website you will find that much of what Altimate Medical focuses on in our corporate messaging are the health benefits associated with standing. Health benefits are important to many EasyStand users, but the main reason we concentrate so heavily on this message is because we are not just speaking to standing frame users. We are also speaking to their therapists, parents, insurance companies, state Medicaid’s, or other parties involved in their care. In most cases standing equipment is paid for based solely on a medically justifiable benefit for the client and so it is crucial that these be understood and well communicated.

However, when it breaks down to an individual there are many other reasons people choose to stand, beyond the medical benefits. I know it is beneficial for me to exercise daily, but realistically the health benefit is not the main reason that I personally choose to stay active. Even though I don’t exercise as much as I should, the reasons I do are to play with my kids, have fun, compete, socialize, push myself, test my diminishing limits, and simply to feel good. I also appreciate the health benefit but, it’s only a small part of my motivation. Although this is not a perfect analogy, I think the same can be said for those who decide to stand. Motivations for wanting to stand are probably varied and go well beyond the medical benefit.

Why do kids stand? Some kids stand because they are told to, because it’s the program and it’s decided for them. Better question, why do kids want to stand?

You don’t have to fit kids into EasyStands very long before you realize they are not always thinking about medical benefits. Kids like to stand because other kids do, or because they like to see how tall they are compared to others. I have noticed that social forces are a strong motivator for kids. “When I am bigger” they say (they are talking about height usually). Kids like to move, why is that? Watching kids in EasyStands many times they love to go up and down, and up and down, if they can control it themselves. “Sit still!” We tell kids. Now really, what kid wants to sit still? What kid even understands sitting still?

I notice kids in EasyStands telling me they also like the “feeling”. I used to think they were speaking about the psychological effect, but they can also be speaking about the physical feeling. Increased respiration, cardio, stretching out… of course it feels good to stand! That’s why I wanted out of my window seat.

Some kids use the standing position as an avenue to carry out an activity more efficiently or to get up to a working surface. The desire to be productive, creative and get something done is human. It’s always better to stand for certain activities, even play. Many kids are motivated to stand to be able to better engage in an activity.

What is true of kids is also true of adults. Some just follow the program, some are motivated by social forces, or change of position “feels good”. Sometimes adults can just articulate better. Some adults are looking for the medical benefits or a specific medical benefit that standing provides. “If I get in my stander every day my spasticity is not as bad.” (A clear medical benefit!)

Many adult EasyStand users have appreciated the functional benefit that the EasyStand provides. Doing an activity better or more comfortably is their motivation for standing. Standing is the means to an end. Shooting a riffle, cooking, painting, whatever…

Some people tell me they stand for very specific reasons, like “my back feels better when I can stretch it. Changing my position feels good.” Or “hey I can see out my kitchen window, I always liked this view!” One young man told me recently “The ladies like it…that’s why I do it!” Probably the oldest motivation of them all.

Well this has taken me a while to write and my concentration level is gone. Just like in the window seat my urge to stand up, stretch, and go get a cup of coffee or see what my co-workers are up to is pretty strong. This time there is nothing standing in my way.

What drives you to stand? What reasons have your clients (kids or adults) chosen to take part in a standing program? Please share your experiences and insight below.

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