Are you recovering from surgery or a lower limb injury? Do you get tired easily when you walk? Perhaps you suffer from a disease that affects your strength, balance, and gait?
In that case, a mobility walker might be just what you need to regain your independence. But which size fits you best? Or are they all similar in size? Read on to find out.
Do Mobility Walkers Come In Different Sizes?
Naturally, mobility walkers come in different sizes to suit kids, teenagers, and the elderly. Basic economy walkers tend to have an overall width of 24" and a handle height of between 30" and 35". They are lightweight devices of about 15kg and have a weight capacity of 135kg.
Mid-range walkers have a width of about 25" and a handle height of 33" - 37". They weigh about 7kg and have a weight capacity of 135kg. Heavy duty walkers have a width of around 28", a handle height of 34" - 39" and weigh about 10kg. These can accommodate a weight of about 195kg.
Walkers generally fall in one of the aforementioned categories and will suit different people differently. People between 5'5" and 6'6" in height will find standard walkers with a handle height of 32" to 40" great. Shorter people between 4'10" to 5'5" tall should opt for a handle height of 25.4" to 32.4".
Walker Variations by Size [Consider These 3 Factors]
Your walker's total width is very crucial. Most homes have narrow bathroom doors about 22" wide. The doors to public toilet stalls also tend to be small. For indoor use where doors are narrow, consider a narrow walker, about 22" to 24" wide.
You also need to bear in mind that your walker needs to fit in the boot of your car, down hallways, and other confined spaces. Typically, heavy-duty walker/rollator seats are wider, often approximately 19" wide, compared to standard rollator seat walkers. You could even get some as small as 15" wide.
2. Weight Capacity
Walkers come with different weight capacities. The weight capacity for most heavy-duty rollators is between 180kg and 225kg while standard ones support about 135kg. Broader bariatric rollators can support up to 315kg, opposed to the 160kg that regular walkers support.
As you choose the capacity, however, keep in mind that the higher the weight capacity, the heavier the device. That's crucial, especially for classic medical walkers that must be lifted when walking. In that case, make sure you can do it without difficulty.
3. Handle Height
Before we delve further into this one, the handle height needs to be adjustable for maximum comfort. That said, the handle height will come in a range, typically anywhere from 29" to 39". Besides the handlebars, you also need to adjust the seat, particularly in rollators.
Some models of walkers have a wide enough range to be categorised as both "youth" and "adult" models. Be sure to pick one where your height falls in the middle of the range. You may require a different height for your walker depending on your footwear and the surface you're using, so give yourself as much leeway as possible.
Before buying a walker, it would be wise to make sure it can accommodate your weight and height, especially if you are exceptionally tall, short, or heavy. After establishing your height and weight, choose one whose range you fall in the middle to allow you to adjust for maximum comfort.
A poor fit of a walker can lead to pains, aches, and poor posture. Standing in front of a walker or rollator while relaxed and erect is a wonderful way to gauge whether it fits you. The top of the walker should be level with your wrist if your arms are relaxed at your sides. Additionally, when you grab the handles, your elbows should be bent just a little (approximately 15-20 degrees).