What is the best specialist seating for managing fatigue?
Fatigue is often referred to by two different names – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME). Over a quarter of a million people in the UK live with chronic fatigue. This number is predicted to continue rising. In 2o21, we have seen a spike in cases of Lon COVID, which closely resembles Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS). The severity of Long COVID has made the symptoms of fatigue more common than ever before with people experiencing general tiredness, headaches, muscle aches, and even heart palpitations.
With more and more people experiencing fatigue, it’s more important than ever to make sure they have the right seating available to them. Research suggests that working-age adults can be seated for around 9.5 hours a day, and this number increases to 10 to 11 hours a day for people over 65. We can use specialist seating to help aid recovery and promote better wellbeing both physically and mentally, which is integral to living with (and even overcoming) fatigue. Here’s our guide to the best specialist seating for managing fatigue.
What is fatigue?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a long-term condition that often entails an array of different symptoms. But as the name suggests, tiredness is the most common side-effect. Other symptoms include:
- Muscle/joint pain
- Problems sleeping
- Flu-like symptoms (including a sore throat)
- Irregular heartbeat
How is fatigue different from general tiredness?
We all experience extreme tiredness at some point in our lives. Think back to times you’ve spent a long day travelling, or had an extra busy day at work. However, tiredness is quickly remedied with some time to rest and recover. Fatigue is different because it is not fixed with some sleep and rest. It’s long-lasting and debilitating if it isn’t treated and recognised.
The severity of chronic fatigue can change on a daily basis, and the person can quickly switch between being fine and being overtired. The symptoms of fatigue are very similar to other medical conditions that may sometimes improve on their own, so it’s very important to see a doctor and get a diagnosis to ensure that you know what is going on in your body and how to treat it.
What can cause fatigue?
Arguably, the biggest cause of fatigue is recovery from a virus or an infection. That’s why we’re currently seeing more cases of fatigue from cases of Long COVID. However, this is not the only cause. Fatigue can also be brought on by hormonal imbalance, problems with your immune system, and mental health issues.
Other health conditions that cause similar effects are things like anaemia, an underactive thyroid, diabetes, and sleep apnoea.
How can specialist seating help with fatigue?
As we mentioned above, adults spend at least a third of their day sitting down. And if you’re living with fatigue, the chances are you spend a lot more time in a sedentary position.
When correctly prescribed with expert advisors, specialist seating can make all the difference in supporting someone with chronic fatigue. It can give the perfect combination of comfort and support to help you conserve energy for more taxing tasks and activities. Here are some important tips we’ve found when specifying seating for people with fatigue.
Rise and recline chairs are perfect for people living with fatigue; their job is to simplify and support physical movements that can be incredibly tiring. The chair can bring you up to standing height and it can gently guide you to a comfortable seated position as well. This will relieve any unnecessary pressure and energy needed to carry out these movements without help.
People with fatigue may also find that a traditional seated position doesn’t give them the most comfort or support. You can reposition rise and recline chairs to lay back and put your feet up. This maximises comfort and allows you to nap in the chair when you need to converse or restore energy. Riser recliners offer flexible seating solutions making them a versatile option for people with fatigue who might find that their needs vary from one day to another.
One of the main things that occupational therapists (OTs) and other healthcare professionals will say to people living with fatigue is to try and continue carrying out everyday tasks whenever they feel well enough to do so. These activities and accomplishments can help you to eventually overcome chronic fatigue. Plus, they are crucial for protecting your mental health.
The Vela Activity Chair is the ideal option for people who are trying to recover from fatigue. It’s manoeuvrable and height-adjustable to give you the ability to use it in different environments with ease. You can carry out everyday tasks with ease whilst conserving energy.
Whilst shower chairs aren’t typically thought of as specialist seating, they still offer a wealth of support to people living with fatigue. So, when you’re considering specialist seating options, like rise and recline chairs, it’s the perfect opportunity to think about whether you could also benefit from a shower chair.
Of course, you would usually shower standing up. This uses a lot more energy than you think, and it can be crippling for people with fatigue.
A shower chair or perching stool can provide peace of mind and comfort to ensure that you can still carry out personal hygiene without draining your energy for the day. A shower stool is a simple solution that helps you manage your own energy levels and encourages independence for a daily task.
Specialist seating offers a simple, but effective way for people to manage their everyday life whilst living with fatigue. Given that there are now so many people living with Long COVID (which also causes fatigue), these seating options could really make all the difference in supporting and enhancing recovery.
Check out our online shop for our full range of equipment to support people living with fatigue. If you need more advice on specialist seating and other equipment for chronic fatigue or Long COVID, please get in touch. Our team are happy to help you find the right solutions for your needs.