Stretching and exercise are great ways to relieve pressure issues that come with prolonged sitting. Here are a couple of easy stretches that can be done, every day and without drawing undue attention to the exercise. Each technique can be done independently or with assistance; depending on your strength and balance. Be sure you are in a wheelchair of adequate weight when doing these stretches- for safety’s sake.
Leaning forward and from side to side: Leaning from side to side relieves pressure over one buttock at a time. Lock your wheels, hold onto the other armrest and lean your body to the opposite side, taking the weight off one buttock at a time. Repeat with the opposite side. Lean forward with both hands to relieve pressure from your bottom. You don’t need to feel “obvious” when doing this- we all shift around and change positions continuously. Think of the forward lean as just some time “fixing” your shoe laces, feet or the hem of your pants to achieve your pressure relief
Crossing your legs: These techniques are easy to do and are less obvious in public places to relieve pressure. You can cross one leg over the other and lean back to one side, holding your knee in position while lifting weight off of one buttock. Or, you can cross your leg by putting on ankle over the other knee and lean forward lifting weight off your bottom.
Being aware of relieving pressure and shifting your weight often is important for wheelchair users! Prolonged periods of sitting are difficult for the human body to accept, so any method you are able to utilize is going to be a positive thing. Whether leaning against tables, crossing your legs or leaning forward, periodic stretches and will help you stay healthy.