SmartSeat ProCAREFLEX_187The importance of correct specialist seating is becoming recognised by healthcare professionals as an essential part of the 24 hour posture and pressure management programme however there is limited robust research data.

At CareFlex we have over 20 years’ experience developing high quality seating and can be relied upon for expert, impartial and ethical advice.  We wanted to know more about what the user needs from a chair, what are their priorities?

For this reason, we approached The University of Salford to carry out a study to look at the benefits of using CareFlex Specialist Seating and the effectiveness of WaterCell Technology and to look at how people report their comfort in the chairs.


In an ‘Evaluation of Pressure and Comfort’, researchers at The University of Salford explored the use of WaterCell Technology in the redistribution of pressure.  They wanted to find out how comfortable/uncomfortable users found the chairs and why.  Also, whether there was a correlation between self-reported comfort (feeling comfortable) and pressure redistribution.

At CareFlex we have always understood that the success of any chair is proven by the physical comfort it offers and we know that the majority of issues with seating are caused by the discomfort generated by bad posture or fatigue.

The clinical research results support this belief.

  • 92% of participants reported the chairs as being comfortable.
  • 80% reported being able to do more than they would usually do in terms of activities and leisure pursuits, ie watching TV, reading, knitting, etc.
  • Very low average pressure readings were recorded.

Results also point to the fact that comfort and the aesthetics of a chair are so important to users that, regardless of the clinical benefits, ie posture management and pressure relief, the chair may well not be used if the user is not comfortable…. and does not like the colour and fabric!

This is extremely important to help stop the high levels of ‘equipment abandonment’ witnessed by many health care professionals throughout the country.

Just a few of the many affirming comments, some of which touched the researchers deeply.

“I’d forgotten what it felt like to sit somewhere comfortable…  for the past three years I’ve literally either been in bed or in a wheelchair.”

“It’s novel being able to wear jeans with pockets on them again! On the settee I just end up with pocket marks on my bum!”

“I just find the chair so relaxing. I don’t need my ‘hotty’ anymore.”

“It’s got to be down to the chair… It’s a strange feeling because I’ve not experienced that in such a long time (8-9 years).”

“…I didn’t expect to doze in it … I was quite surprised when I woke up. I might have missed a goal as well!”


Contact us to receive an overview of the rationale, aims and results of the study or you can contact the researchers at

The University of Salford direct:

Carol Bartley MSC Dip COT PG Cert

Occupational Therapy Lecturer

Melanie Stephens,

Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing Midwifery, Social Work and Social Studies

A full report is available on The University of Salford USIR

Call CareFlex on 0800 018 6440 for more information


Supporting the new Salford findings, CareFlex has two other studies going back 20 years.

  1. Fiona Colins, International Journal of Therapy and REhabilityation, Feb 2007 – ‘The HydroTilt Armchair: Meeting complex seating requirements’
  1. MDA Evaluation PS5, 1998, Armchairs with Special Features to Reduce Interface Pressure.  Alternativing Pressure Cushions and Supplementary Cushions.  A Comparative Evaluation.