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Our care of people with limited movement doesn’t #measureup

26 Feb 2018

How old are you?

How tall are you?

What do you weigh?

The fact is, whether we love them or hate them, our lives are framed with measurements.

From the abrupt awakening of our alarm clock telling us it is time to get up, to our food being measured in packets with used by dates emblazoned on top. Numbers walk us through every day.

A variety of measurements keep us safe on the road.

With measurements, we decide how long it will take to get to our destination, when to fill up and which carparks we really shouldn’t attempt to drive into with a roof box on top of the car! And numbers are also provide indicators of our health. Giving us vital information such as temperature, blood pressure or blood test results.

Numbers are really important but they only make up part of a much bigger picture.

When we are driving, we might be rushing to visit a loved one in hospital or heading off on holiday. When we are shopping, we’ll choose the largest packet of crisps that says half fat and then scoff the lot. Although numbers litter our world they aren’t the heart of what is really going on.

The same is true for postural care.

Good, person-centred postural care is focused on the person with limited movement. It considers their comfort, their sleep and their routine. At the centre is often a family, with their own priorities and perspective which must be considered when developing postural care strategies.

But like every other walk of life, measurements are important.

Standardised measurements show when something is working well. They tell us if something is getting better, worse or staying the same. If our child is hot, we will take their temperature and treat the fever. Then we monitor the impact of that treatment. We won’t necessarily label it as assessment, treatment and review, but that is what we do, every day.

The Goldsmith Indices of Body Symmetry is the only validated objective outcome for body shape changes. 

In the same way, we wouldn’t drive a car without a speedometer or buy something without knowing how much it cost, we shouldn’t care for people with limited movement without measuring for body shape changes.

The inability to freely move our body can lead to prolonged poor posture. Over time, a person who sleeps or sits in an asymmetrical position for hours and then days, can develop life-changing body distortions.

In the same way a doctor is not fully doing her job without taking appropriate measurements of our health, therapists must also measure changes to a person’s body shape in order to know the impact of interventions. Left unchecked, body shape changes dramatically affect a person’s quality of life and can become life-limiting.

It isn’t dramatic, it can take years.

It isn’t sexy, interventions are simple, boring and subtle.

But the impact on a person’s life, and their family’s life, is remarkable and life-changing.

The Goldsmith Indices of Body Symmetry is like switching on the light.

Check out our new animation #MeasureUp


The Goldsmith Indices of Body Symmetry objectively informs postural care practices. It helps professionals and families step out of the dark and see things as they really are. It helps inform families and professionals alike whether interventions are beneficial or not. It is time we #measureup. We need to make our practice of those with complex needs match the care they deserve.

A runner is motivated to keep training when their time shows an improvement or personal best. Someone is encouraged to maintain a healthy diet when the scales go in the right direction. For families who are bombarded daily with tasks, therapies and equipment, objective measurements help show when things are working and persistence worthwhile, or when strategies need to change.

Does your practice #measureup?

Do you know if what you are doing is really making a difference?

Are you able to objectively justify the interventions employed?

Can you show families how what they are doing is affecting body shape?

If you want to turn on the light to your postural care practice, contact us at Simple Stuff Works about attending one of our measurement courses today.

It’s time #measureup.

Together we can measure, position, and protect people’s body shape and therefore quality of life.