Using a rollator can be challenging if the handles are set too high or too low. When the handles are too low, you may find yourself bent over, causing pain in your neck and back. If the handles are too high, you may walk behind the walker rollator, losing the support you need from the device.
A bent-over walking position is often caused by the seat of traditional rollators being placed too close to the legs, leaving insufficient space to walk. As a result, you may have to walk too far behind. Opt for a rollator with a seat that can be slid forward to position the handles closer to your hips when taking a step.
Walking with the correct rollator walking technique and posture is not difficult, but it does require using the appropriate type of rollator and being mindful of how you move. Here are some tips for walking correctly with a rollator:
- Keep Your Head Up Imagine that a string runs up your spine through the top of your head. Make sure that this string stays straight at all times when you walk. Shift your hips and shoulders to align them with the top of your head. This technique may help prevent your head from dropping down towards your chest while walking.
- Keep Your Eyes and Gaze Forward Focus on a spot about 7 to 10 meters ahead of you while walking to keep a tall standing position. This tip is particularly helpful when using a rollator with big wheels, as you won’t need to watch where the front wheels are going. Big rollator wheels or those with climbing capability are better since you can walk more relaxed without worrying if the front wheel can manage outdoor terrain.
- Lengthen Your Spine Focus on elongating your back while walking to avoid hunching, stooping, or leaning forward. These actions can stress your neck and back muscles.
- Roll Your Shoulders Your shoulders play a crucial role in your walking posture and rollator walking technique. If they’re tense or hunched forward, it might be a sign that you’re straining your muscles and joints in your shoulders, neck, and upper back. Keep your shoulders loose and relaxed, not tensed up towards your ears or slouched forward. Do shoulder shrugs occasionally while walking with your rollator to ensure that you’re keeping your shoulders loose and your head in the proper position.
- Engage Your Core Your core muscles play an essential role in walking and help you move more comfortably. Tighten and engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine with each step. This technique can aid you in maintaining balance and stability.
- Step from Heel to Toe Maintain a steady heel-to-toe gait when walking with a rollator. Strike the ground heel first, rolling through to your toe, and then push off with your toe. This technique can help you avoid flat-footed steps or first striking the ground with your toes, leading to better walking.