The importance of correct specialist seating is becoming recognised by healthcare professionals as an essential part of the 24 hour posture and pressure management programme however there is limited robust research data.

CareFlex have used their experience of over 20 years’ in developing high quality seating to create research that looks at the needs of users of specialist seating to provide impartial and ethical advice.

Salford_Research_WaterCellCareFlex approached The University of Salford to carry out a study to look at the benefits of using CareFlex Specialist Seating and the effectiveness of WaterCell Technology and to look at how people report their comfort in the chairs.

In an ‘Evaluation of Pressure and Comfort’, researchers at The University of Salford explored the use of WaterCell Technology in the redistribution of pressure. They wanted to find out how comfortable/uncomfortable users found the chairs and why.  Also, whether there was a correlation between self-reported comfort (feeling comfortable) and pressure redistribution.

The clinical research results support CareFlex’s understanding that the success of any chair is proven by the physical comfort it offers and that the majority of issues with seating are caused by the discomfort generated by bad posture or fatigue.

  • 92% of participants reported the chairs as being comfortable
  • 80% reported being able to do more than they would usually do in terms of activities and leisure pursuits, i.e. watching TV, reading, knitting, etc
  • Very low average pressure readings were recorded

Results also point to the fact that comfort and the aesthetics of a chair are so important to users that, regardless of the clinical benefits, ie posture management and pressure relief, the chair may well not be used if the user is not comfortable and does not like the colour and fabric.

This is extremely important to help stop the high levels of ‘equipment abandonment’ witnessed by many health care professionals throughout the country.

Just a few of the many affirming comments, some of which touched the researchers deeply include:

  • “I’d forgotten what it felt like to sit somewhere comfortable… for the past three years I’ve literally either been in bed or in a wheelchair.”
  • “It’s novel being able to wear jeans with pockets on them again! On the settee I just end up with pocket marks on my bum!”
  • “I just find the chair so relaxing. I don’t need my ‘hotty’ anymore.”
  • “It’s got to be down to the chair… It’s a strange feeling because I’ve not experienced that in such a long time (8-9 years).”
  • “…I didn’t expect to doze in it … I was quite surprised when I woke up. I might have missed a goal as well!”

Contact The University of Salford to receive an overview of the rationale, aims and results of the study either via Carol Bartley MSC Dip COT PG Cert, Occupational Therapy Lecturer at or Melanie Stephens, Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing Midwifery, Social Work and Social Studies at

To find out more about CareFlex, visit the website HERE


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