The launch of the Flo, the innovative “standing and walking stick”, has got me thinking about the way we approach problems in our lives.
As we get older, it often becomes more difficult for us to get out of our armchairs.
The industry solution to this problem has been to re-design the chair, developing the “riser chair”which pushes the user gently to their feet. These chairs are very functional but tend to be pretty pricey, quite bulky and often old fashioned – looking. Not necessarily something you want dominating your living room.
Another way to help ourselves get out of our armchairs is to employ some sort of assistive device. The Flo wraps around the lower leg, locking it in position whilst employing upper body strength to allow the user to lever themselves out of the chair. The Flo has been designed by “Design for Life winner Ilsa Parry in conjunction with Philippe Starck and is a beautiful, sculptural piece of design (although I am yet to test its functionality). But the problem with an assistive aid is remembering to have it to hand. If I keep forgetting my glasses when I settle down to watch the television, will I always remember to have my Flo to hand to help me get up again? The Flo is also a rather pricey £299.
The third way to make sure we can always get out of our armchairs is to work on our core strength. In her aptly-named DVD, Move It or Lose It!, Julie Robinson takes the class through various exercises which help strengthen the muscles which we need to perform everyday tasks such as getting out of chairs or walking up stairs. The DVD at £14 is substantially cheaper than either the riser chair of the Flo but does require good health, adherence and effort on our part.
So, three very different ways to address one problem. What do you think?