Hand in Hand: Humidity & Heat
As if the heat that consumers feel when in their seating systems
isn’t enough of a challenge, the rehab team also needs to
consider humidity and moisture that often accompany them or are
exacerbated by warmer temperatures.
Evan Call, MS, CSM, NRM, lab director for EC-Service Inc., says that in
a study and the resulting educational presentation done several years
ago, “We actually showed that moisture follows heat very reliably.
We showed that on a compound graph — where when temperature
rises, the humidity at the body interface begins to rise — and they
But there’s more than mere academic value in understanding the
relationship between the two.
“The beauty of that study we did is we could actually show these
patients that they weren’t doing their pressure relief lifts because
every time they did do one, you saw a dramatic temperature and
humidity drop, and then they would begin climbing again,” Call says.
He adds that understanding that dynamic can be a valuable
training tool for consumers, who can be shown that they can care for
their skin by performing regular pressure-relief lifts or shifts.
Better still: Even the types of lifts that are considered less than
optimal for weight redistribution can be helpful in reducing heat and
“A lot of people really struggle with the pressure-relief lift, so if it’s
too difficult to do the pressure-relief lift, have them do the forward
lean,” Call suggests. “The critical area is the perineum, and if they truly
do a forward lean and get their chest down to their knees as far as
they can and get that perineum up just a little bit, that’s all it takes,
and it does make a difference. Teach them to do a right-side lean and
a left-side lean. The period in which those three leans are carried out
generates a significant temperature and humidity drop at the bodycushion
“We think of them as limited functions, but they actually do
dramatically improve breathability at the body-cushion interface.”
This article originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of Mobility Management.