Wheelchair cushions. Why, who and how?


Wheelchair seat cushions are an essential part of a wheelchair and profoundly affect the user’s daily living and health. Cushions not only improve comfort, safety from skin damages derived from prolonged sitting, but directly influence the seating position. Although cushions may look similar in design on the outside, the materials used on the inside can have a significant impact on their performance. Current cushions are enveloped with the latest cutting-edge materials and design technology such as CryoTM to address skin protection from pressure, shearing, and the most recently recognized “Micro-climate” issues. Wheelchair cushions are designed to address specific seating goals. Each design principle has specific clinical benefits and considerations. Therefore, understanding the design and how certain materials perform is critical in achieving the desired benefits and will improve the clinician’s ability to select a cushion based on their patient’s goals. This workshop will cover various design principles and materials that are used in wheelchair cushions and the clinical application that should be considered when choosing a cushion based on recent findings in seating technology.


Hiroto is a physiotherapist who is taking on a clinical educator/specialist role specifying in Mobility devices within the Asia-Pacific region for Sunrise Medical. He has over 14 years of clinical experience working especially with neuromuscular disease and pediatric populations. He has a passionate drive to better people’s lives and his focus is utilizing assistive devices and modalities to improve mobility and function for his patients. He has a balanced track record of integrating research and evidence to clinical practice and is both a research committee member within the International Organization of Physiotherapists in Pediatrics, Japanese Society of Physical Therapy for Pediatrics, and is also a Japanese Duchenne muscular dystrophy physical therapy guideline member. He conducts over 15 yearly webinars, seminars and lectures concerning mobility devices and is an adjunct lecturer for Kitasato University and Hokkaido High technology college. His previous conference presentation experiences include a Seminar and research presentation at the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 3 presentations at World Physical therapy congress, 1 presentation at Neurorehabilitation congress as well as holding seminars at the International Home and Rehabilitation Exhibition, Welfare trade expo, Barrier Free / Post-Acute Medicine Fair / Nursing Next / Home Medical Care expo concerning mobility devices such as wheelchair seating and powered wheelchairs.