Size Matters: Measuring for the Configura Comfort and Bariatric Recliner Chairs

When assessing your client for a Configura Recliner Chair, it is crucial to follow specific steps to achieve the best possible fit. At its core, precision in measurement goes beyond simply selecting the correct size. It's about developing a bespoke seating solution tailored to the individual's unique needs and clinical requirements. Prescription is more than comfort; it provides the necessary support to empower clients in their daily activities. 

Consider how posture affects multiple facets of a person's well-being. From respiratory function to digestion, posture plays a pivotal role in maintaining physiological equilibrium. For individuals facing mobility challenges or medical complexities, achieving optimal posture isn't just desirable—it's essential to living a quality life. 

Poor posture can result in various undesirable health outcomes, including pain and general discomfort, spine curvature or worsening for those with spinal obliquities, inadequate sleep, poor digestion, and it can negatively impact mental health. For any recliner, but especially one where the user will spend considerable time each day, correct fitting is vital to avoid these issues.  
Now, let's turn our attention to the Configura Recliner Chairs. These innovative seating solutions cater to diverse users and offer various sizing options. The Configura Recliner Chair is a highly specialised and thoughtfully designed seating solution offering optimal comfort for individuals with mild to moderate postural needs. Engineered to mitigate pressure wound formation and facilitate comfortable standing or sitting for users with limited mobility, this chair prioritises user well-being. 

What distinguishes the Configura from other recliner chairs is the high level of adjustability for size, pressure, and posture, allowing a custom fit for various postural presentations. This means you'll get a custom fit for many users, and it can also adapt with the user as their needs change. This saves the hassle of repeating the process for a new chair. Ensuring the initial measurements are correct will maximise the chair's functionality and the user's overall well-being.   

Enable Lifecare's Occupational Therapist, Chanelle has compiled a comprehensive guide to ensure you consistently achieve the ideal fit. The measuring process for the Configura Comfort is slightly different from that for the Bariatric, so make sure you practice the correct techniques for each chair. 

Before we get into the steps to measure for both chairs, here are some general tips to ensure precise measurements for an accurate seating prescription.


Tips for measuring clients for Configura Recliner Chairs:


  • When selecting a chair size, prioritise the chair measurements in the following order: seat depth, height, and width. This will ensure the size chosen is the right overall proportion for the user.

  • Measure in neutral or ideal posture (if the user can achieve this).

  • Opt for a firm surface like a chair or plinth for measurements; avoid beds or couches to prevent excessive immersion, ensuring accurate measurements.

  • Choose a surface that allows full access around the user for easy measurements.

  • Utilise a rigid tape measure to maintain straightness and prevent curving or bending during measurements.

  • When measuring height, consider the user’s typical footwear or measure barefoot if that’s how they usually sit in the chair.

  • If the client is a dependent sitter, assess in a supine.

  • Measure in supine if the user has pressure injuries on sitting surfaces.

  • Measure both sides in case of pelvic instability.


Measuring for the Configura Chairs


In the video below, Chanelle will provide practical demonstrations on how to measure for the Configura Comfort and Bariatric Recliner. 




Measuring for the Configura Comfort


For the Configura Comfort, you’ll need to take three key measurements:

  • Seat depth

  • Seat height

  • Seat width

Measure the seat depth by putting a pen into the person’s popliteal crease and a clipboard at the base of their spine. Now measure from the pen to the clipboard.

Measure seat depth: from popliteal crease to spine

Now measure the seat height by measuring from the pen in the popliteal crease to the base of the foot.

measure seat height: from the popliteal crease to base of the foot

Lastly, measure the seat width from the widest point of the hips or legs straight along to the user’s other side. This is done by placing our hands or two clipboards on each side of the person’s hips or thighs. Stick out your thumbs to give yourself a point to measure from. You will then add one inch to your measurement.

measure seat width: from largest part of hips or thighs


If you haven't already, download our free clinical justification resource for the Configura range.



Measuring for the Configura Bariatric


The measurements are taken slightly differently when fitting for the Configura Bariatric Chair. The seat width is measured the same as the Configura Comfort. However, when measuring the seat height and the seat depth, we need to consider the user’s extra body mass, especially at their thighs, calves and gluteal shelf.

 Due to the presence of a gluteal shelf in many bariatric users, it is not feasible to measure from the popliteal crease to the base of the spine. If we were to include the gluteal shelf in the measurements, the person’s gluteal shelf would hit the back of the seat first and prevent them from moving all the way back into the chair. They would need to lean back with a posterior pelvic tilt or sacral sitting posture to have their back supported by the backrest.

However, if we ignore the gluteal shelf when we take the measurements and instead take the measurements from the calves to the scapula, we will get the correct reading.


When measuring the seat depth, we can enhance comfort and support by adjusting the bottom pillow. This involves removing some stuffing, then repositioning the pillow on the backrest. This adjustment accommodates the gluteal shelf, enabling users to fully sit back in the chair while receiving proper back support. As a result, the pelvis attains a more neutral position, facilitating correct posture maintenance.

When assessing the seat height, we won't measure from the popliteal crease to the base of the foot due to the additional body mass present in the user's thighs. Instead, we'll measure from the lowest point of that body mass to the base of the foot.

And now you have covered all the essential Configura measurements and can ensure you have prescribed the correct size for your client. If your client needs additional postural support, check out our range of Configura Accessories

Remember, these measurement techniques apply specifically to Configura chairs. Always follow the guidelines tailored to different seating systems for accurate fittings.

If you are looking for seating options for clients with varying postural conditions, check out our guide


Chanelle Olivier Occupational Therapist 


Enable Lifecare is an assistive technology wholesaler in Australia, selling disability equipment to dealerships and providing support and training for Occupational Therapists. We strive to produce and source high-quality and innovative products to help Australians improve their quality of life. Call us on 1300 370 370 to see what we can do for you.