Permobil White Paper: Standing PWCs Improve Physical & Mental Health

A new Permobil white paper focuses on the many benefits that standing power wheelchairs can offer to clients.

Cover of Permobil white paper

In a Sept. 28 news announcement, Permobil said its global clinical education and research teams reviewed 363 publications in a “structured literature search.”

“Nine project collaborators reviewed a final total of 41 publications from 2010 onwards and included usage data from Permobil Connect and an internal survey to summarize the findings for this white paper,” the announcement added.

Among the top findings from the research were that standing power wheelchairs can have positive effects in a number of areas, including pressure relief, building bone mineral density, and improving bowel and bladder functions; improving mental health, self-esteem, and communications abilities; and participation in social and educational activities for children, and greater participation for adults at work and in their communities.

The project leader was Carla Nooijen, Ph.D., Senior Researcher R&D for Permobil in Sweden. Project collaborators included Arne Compernolle, Clinical Education Manager, Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Ashley Detterbeck, Clinical Education Manager, United States; Ann-Marie Engdahl, Director Customer Insights, R&D, Sweden; Rachel Fabiniak, Director of Clinical Education, Asia-Pacific; Thomas Halka, Clinical Education Manager, United States; Karin Leire, VP Research & Innovation, R&D, Sweden; Rachel Maher, Clinical Educator, Asia-Pacific; and Staffan Olsson, System Analyst, Software Development, Sweden.

The project team examined the clinical, functional, and psychosocial benefits of using a standing power wheelchair. One of the paper’s findings is that benefits of one type could lead to benefits in other categories. For example, the ability to more independently perform activities of daily living — defined as a functional benefit — can lead to psychosocial benefits such as greater self-esteem and happiness.

The white paper examines and provides evidence for the clinical, functional and psychosocial benefits of power chair standing.

Chuck Witkowski, President of Permobil Americas, said of the white paper, “We are pleased to share the results of this comprehensive review with the industry. As the originator of the standing power wheelchair, Permobil has been the leading innovator of this technology to therapists, ATPs, and end users for over four decades. This research clearly summarizes how standing functionality positively impacts the everyday life of our end users.”

The news announcement said the white paper builds on RESNA’s 2013 position paper on standing devices by introducing evidence focused on standing power wheelchair research and including data on the use of the standing function from Permobil wheelchair users worldwide.

“Thanks to the clinical team, we were able to preface the evidence by first explaining the effects on specific body systems and functions (i.e., skin, bladder, communication, range of motion),” said Karin Leire, VP of Research & Innovation at Permobil. “We were then able to provide clear evidence of the benefits of standing connected to each function and showed the impact for both children and adults.”

To download the white paper, click HERE.


About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

In Support of Upper-Extremity Positioning