Walkers, in general, have been around since the early 1950s. The early design of the frame of walkers was approximately waist high.
The modern walkers have different designs. There are those that are designed specifically for children, and there are those that are purposely developed for those with increase body mass – this type of walker is called the bariatric walker.
The bariatric walker is available without wheels and two front wheels. The bariatric walker without wheels need tobe picked up and placed a little farther from the body of the user. The user of the bariatric walker without wheels then walks to it and then goes through the whole process again.
The bariatric walker with front wheels, meanwhile, does not need to be picked up. The user simply pushes the bariatric walker forward and move with it.
The bariatric walker without wheels is appropriate for those with good upper body strength. The bariatric walker with front wheels, on the hand, is ideal for people with little arm strength.
The bariatric walker is a good assistive technology for obese individuals who experience pain during their normal walk.
A simple walk may be recommended by many health care professionals to overweight people, but this basic action can be painful to obese persons.
The increased loads on the knee during walking, makes this simple endeavor painful to the knee of heavy individuals. The increased thigh circumference of large persons also increases the risk of skin irritation as there is an increase friction between the inner thighs.
According to Patricia Ohtake, in the article entitled “The Impact of Obesity on Walking:Implications for Fitness Assessmentand ExercisePrescription,” walking at a slower speed may cut down discomfort and musculoskeletal stress.
The bariatric walker, in particular, is designed to support overweight and obese persons. The frame, the height and the space between the handlebars of the bariatric walker are particularly built to accommodate those with increase body mass.