Clinical Benefits of Tilt-in-Space

Tilt in Space provides a change in position for clients who cannot independently shift their body weight


Tilt-in-space seating systems have become essential for promoting proper seating alignment and reducing the risk of skin breakdown and pressure sores, respiratory and digestive complications, postural hypotension, and other adverse events in clients with limited mobility. By providing a safe and easy way for caregivers to shift the client's weight and reposition them, tilt-in-space helps to maintain the client's comfort and well-being. In this blog, we will explore the many clinical benefits of tilt-in-space and how this versatile seating system can enhance the quality of life for individuals with limited mobility.


What is a tilt-in-space mobility base?

A tilt-in-space mobility base refers to any equipment that enables the user to achieve a tilt-in-space position. Many different mobility products can have a tilt-in-space feature, including:

  • Recliner chairs

  • Wheelchairs

  • Commodes

  • Beds


What does tilt-in-space do?

  • Provide a means for weight shifts and position changes.

  • Reduce the risk of skin breakdown by redistributing pressure from the pelvis to the back.

  • Provide a safe and easy way for a caregiver to provide a weight shift for the end user.


Who can benefit from tilt in space?

Tilt-in-space seating systems provide a change in position for clients who cannot maintain pelvic, thoracic, or head position and balance against gravity for prolonged periods. While sitting in the upright position, gravity pushes down on the body. Suppose muscle strength or overall endurance is compromised. In that case, clients will be unable to maintain a proper upright posture, leading to postural deviations such as a posterior pelvic tilt, thoracic kyphosis, and/or lateral lean.

Effects of gravity on a person in a wheelchair without tilt-in-space

Tilt in space helps promote proper seating alignment and decreases the potential for postural deviations

Effects of gravity on a person in a wheelchair with tilt-in-space

What can happen without tilt in space?

If a client cannot maintain an upright posture and falls into postural collapse, the respiratory system can become compromised. The diaphragm has less room to drop as it contracts, so the lungs do not fully expand, and this can result in pneumonia. It becomes more challenging to take a deep breath; breathing is shallower and, therefore, faster. Tilt can often be used to promote thoracic extension and reduce the risk of respiratory complications.

Similarly, if a client cannot maintain an upright posture and falls into postural collapse, the digestive system can become compromised. Food cannot pass as easily down the gastrointestinal tract, resulting in gastritis, gastric reflux, esophagitis, and or bowel impaction. Head and neck positions are not optimal, which can cause aspiration with swallowing and can set off primitive reflexes such as the gag reflex or tongue thrust. Tilt can promote postures that reduce the risk of gastrointestinal complications.

Postural hypotension is when the blood pressure drops when the client is upright, leading to dizziness or loss of consciousness. Dynamic tilt encourages blood to flow above heart level to assist the client if this condition occurs.

Autonomic dysreflexia is when the blood pressure increases due to an event or condition the body interprets as "noxious". This is a potentially life-threatening warning sign produced by the body to let the client know something is wrong. It could be caused by an overfull bladder (kinked catheter), an impacted bowel, a constriction of blood flow, a change in position, etc. Dynamic tilt allows the client to be brought quickly into the most upright position to try to assist in lowering the blood pressure.

Tilt-in-space provides a change in position while minimising the risk of extensor spasticity. A slight opening of the hip angle at the beginning of a weight shift can sometimes cause an extensor spasm. Tilt maintains the optimal hip angle throughout the weight shift.

This means there is no forward sliding of the pelvis on the seat, and no shear forces are generated. This is important because shear forces are a major cause of pressure ulcers and can also contribute to discomfort and pain for the client.

Person in wheelchair graphic

Tilt-in-space is a versatile and effective tool for promoting proper seating alignment, preventing postural deviations, and reducing the risk of skin breakdown, respiratory complications, digestive complications, postural hypotension, autonomic dysreflexia, extensor spasticity, and shear forces. By providing a safe and easy way for caregivers to shift the client’s weight and reposition them, tilt-in-space helps to maintain the client’s comfort and well-being while reducing the risk of adverse events. With its many clinical benefits, tilt-in-space is a valuable addition to any mobility device or seating system used for clients with limited mobility.


Recliner chair with tilt in space

If you have a client with moderate postural requirements who could benefit from tilt, the Configura Comfort is a great option.

Tilt Configura Comfort

Designed to maximise pelvic stability, the Configura Comfort chair features a Reduced Shear recline that ensures your comfort while keeping you safely and securely in place. Plus, with pressure-reducing fabric on the backrest and armrest as standard, you can enjoy a comfortable and relaxing experience without any discomfort.

The integrated self-supply overlay makes it easy to integrate your existing cushions, while the colour-matched vapour permeable vinyl adds a touch of style to your space. And with compatibility with most transfer aids, this chair is versatile and perfect for any setting.

The castors ensure easy manoeuvrability, while the knock-down design makes storage and single-person delivery more accessible than ever before. Plus, with the ability to further customise your chair with our range of Configura Accessories, you can create the ultimate seating experience tailored to your needs.


Chair for complex needs with tilt in space

For ultimate posture control to suit almost any condition, the Configura Advance Chair is your best option.

Tilt Configura Advance

The Configura Advance chair boasts several standout features that make it a top choice for individuals with low knee and hip mobility. One such feature is its auto-compensating leg rest length, ensuring comfort and ease of use. This feature is especially crucial for those who spend extended periods sitting, as it can help alleviate discomfort and prevent injuries associated with poor posture.

Another benefit of the Configura Advance chair is its toolless size, pressure, and posture adjustments. This feature allows users to quickly and easily adjust the chair to ensure a comfortable and ergonomic seating position. It benefits users who require frequent adjustments to accommodate their changing posture needs.

The Configura Advance chair has various seat depth, height, and width adjustment options. This versatility makes it suitable for users of any age, from pediatric to adolescent to adult. This broad appeal makes the chair an excellent investment for institutions and organisations that serve diverse populations.


Tilt-in-space wheelchair

Tilt-in-space Wheelchair

The Breezy Relax Recline Wheelchair is a popular wheelchair used in aged care facilities. Featuring gas-assisted, tilt-in-space, and recline functions, this chair provides unparalleled postural positioning that ensures maximum comfort for individuals of all ages and mobility levels. The removable adjustable height arms come with padded side panels and adjustable armpad length for added convenience and customisation.

The Breezy Relax also boasts removable swing-away elevating leg rests, calf pads, and a height-adjustable padded contoured backrest, providing optimal support for your entire body. Plus, you can enjoy maximum comfort and stability while sitting with a depth-adjustable padded seat and an inbuilt pommel.

The removable padded headrest with adjustable side supports ensures that your neck and head are fully supported, promoting a comfortable and relaxing experience. The alloy construction and water-resistant upholstery make this chair durable and long-lasting, ensuring that you can enjoy its benefits for years to come.


Tilt-in-space shower commode

Tilt-in-space Commode

With its gas strut tilt mechanism, this chair offers smooth and easy tilting, ensuring maximum comfort and safety for your patient. Its multi-position 35-degree tilt allows for versatile positioning, while its durable total stainless steel frame, made from 304 grade, 20mm thick material, guarantees reliability and longevity.

Choose from our seamless PU padded and pressure care seats with open or closed fronts for a comfortable and hygienic experience. And for added convenience, the seat is removable, making it easy to clean and maintain.

The reinforced seat/back frame ensures stability and support, while the swing-away, removable, and height-adjustable leg rests, with flip-up footplates, allow for easy transfer and positioning. This chair can be positioned over the toilet, making it a versatile and essential tool for your patient's care routine.


Highgate Healthcare is a leading healthcare equipment supplier in Adelaide. We supply healthcare equipment to raise the standard of living for South Australians. With a knowledgeable team of experts, Highgate Healthcare helps Occupational Therapists find the perfect solution for their disability and aged care clients.