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Bariatric Rollator: Walking Aid for the Obese Population


The rollator was originally developed for polio victims. This assistive technology was invented in the 1970s by Aina Wifalk from Sweden –Wifalk being a polio sufferer herself.

Today, the rollator such as the bariatric rollator is not only used by polio patients, but by overweight people as well.

The word rollator – which includesthe bariatric rollator –is now used as a generic name to refer to wheeled walkers.The rollator like the bariatric rollator has a frame, handlebars, hand brake,seat, backrest and basket. The bariatric rollator typically has four wheels.

The structure of the bariatric rollatoris reinforced to accommodate people with higher weight capacities. The gap in between the handlebars of the bariatric rollator is wider to provide ample space to users. The height of the bariatric rollator can be adjusted to match the height of the user. The seat of the bariatric rollator is convenient for the user who feels the need to rest after an increase physical activity.

Studies have shown that exercise is an effective treatment for obesity. The recommended form of exercise for the obese is walking with the bariatric rollator.

Walking is convenient. It is a widely accepted form of exercise. However, those with increase body mass have peculiar needs.

For a person with an increase body mass, walking brings in another form of ailments. Most obese individuals complain of knee pain during walking. Skin irritation is another factor to be considered when overweight persons walk. During walking, the increase thigh circumference of obese individuals causes friction in the inner thighs.

According to Browning and Kram, in their study “Effects of obesity on the biomechanics of walking at different speeds,” heavy individuals use more energy during walking than non-overweight individuals.

In view of the above-mentioned health concerns, what is then the option for overweight persons? Browning and Kram have recommended that slower walking for a longer duration is the more appropriate form of exercise for those with increase body mass.

Walking at a slower speed with the bariatric rollator lessens the load on the knee, thereby averting knee pain. Moving at the slower speed also avert skin irritation. Slow walking with the bariatric rollator also reduces musculoskeletal stress.

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