What is tilt-in-space? What are the benefits?

Knowing the benefits of tilt-in-space and what it is can really help when you’re specifying or choosing a chair for someone. Whether it’s a rise and recline chair or a care chair, tilt-in-space can be extremely beneficial in both.

So let’s have a look at what tilt-in-space is and its benefits.

What is tilt-in-space?

Tilt-in-space is an action/movement in chairs and seating that physically tilts the person backwards without changing their position. The chair maintains the angle of the hips, knees, and ankles to keep you in the same position no matter how much the chair moves.

The seat itself simply shifts as one unit on its base. By keeping your angles all the same, it helps you to keep good posture positioning even when sat for long periods of time.

How does tilt-in-space prevent shearing?

Shearing occurs when you aren’t properly supported and end up sliding against the chair. Shear can be detrimental to fragile skin as the friction can cause sores and further damage.

Skin shear is a particularly serious problem for elderly people who have more delicate skin and are more susceptible to sores and ulcers forming.

One of the benefits of tilt-in-space is that it prevents shear from occurring because it stops you from sliding down the chair. It would be incredibly difficult to fall out of a chair when your hip and knee angles have been kept the same, which means that there is less friction and therefore less skin shear.

Does tilt-in-space help with pressure relief?

Yes! Pressure relief is one of the key things when it comes to tilt-in-space and it helps massively.

When you’re sat normally in a chair, you’ll find that most of your body weight will go through your buttocks and thighs. Then a smaller portion will go through your feet, and an even tinier amount will go through your back and arms.

A bar chart showing how body weight distributes when sat down and not in a tilt-in-space chair.
Here you can see a breakdown of just how much of your body weight is distributed when seated.

So if you sit in this position for a long time, you might find that your bottom goes numb or you get pins and needles. Over a prolonged period, this can lead to pressure ulcers.

With tilt-in-space, you can help to redistribute the person’s body weight over a larger surface area to help spread any pressure and therefore reduce pressure build-ups. The tilt will position the person so more of their body weight goes through their back, which helps combat pressure injuries and keeps them more comfortable.

Any tilt-in-space angle between 30° and 45° should be enough for this.

Will tilt-in-space help with positioning?

If you have a client who has issues with their positioning and you need to help them maintain better posture, then tilt-in-space can help with this as well. For people with less trunk and head control, tilt-in-space can make all the difference.

By tilting back ever-so-slightly, you’ll find that your spine will straighten out and your head is more central. This helps to prevent things like kyphosis and leaning which can be detrimental to your health and quality of life.

An angle between 15° and 30° should help you attain better postural control.


Tilt-in-space is used in many care chairs and riser recliners to help you stay comfortable and healthy when sat down. There are many benefits and we highly recommend you include it in any specifications for client who you think would benefit from it.

If you want to try out a tilt-in-space chair for one of your clients, give us a call on 01423 799960, get in touch with us on the website and we’ll be happy to help.

For more information on specialist seating and how to prescribe it, take a look at our free specialist seat ebook.

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Lucie Hudson
Lucie Hudson

Lucie is our Marketing Manager, meaning she coordinates and writes some of our blogs, magazine articles, and brochures amongst many other resources. She also takes care of all our social media profiles, so feel free to send her any blog ideas you have!

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