What is Microclimate?
Microclimate is the temperature, moisture, and airflow at the skin surface.
Why is this important for wheelchair users, healthcare professionals, and carers?
Our skin microclimate changes throughout the day according to the environmental conditions and movements surrounding it. Our bodies help us manage it by allowing us to sense and adjust ourselves to feel more comfortable. This is more difficult to achieve when you have a physical/neurological condition and/or reduced mobility. Microclimate is also significantly affected when objects or support surfaces (such as seating systems) are agains the skin. This is because the surface impede the process of conductive, convection, and evaporative heat and moisture loss. This leads to the build-up of heat and moisture between the skin and the support surface and can occur even after just a few minutes. These factors are known to affect the physiological resilience of the skin and expose it to the risk of injury because the tissue becomes sort and weak, making it prone to damaging forces such as shear and friction.
Research indicates that the ideal skin temperature is 32ºC; however, when sitting against a standard backrest, the skin temperature rises 2.2ºC on average within 30 minutes.
Therefore, when choosing a seating solution, it is important to consider the system is air and moisture permeable to enable movement of air to improve microclimate and so reduce the risk of skin damage.
Keep skin dry and clean with WheelAir
Non-intrusive, adjustable, and silent airflow guides the heat and moisture away from your body, leaving you cool and refreshed. WheelAir’s airflow lowers relative humidity and reduces the temperature of the back 2.5ºC in 3 minutes and 8ºC in 30 minutes. Lower humidity and temperature improves the skin’s microclimate to keep skin dry and clean to help reduce the likelihood of moisture lesions and pressure sores.
How to get WheelAir
Speak to your clinician, use our knowledge page to fully understand the health implications of overheating, over-sweating, and the influence of microclimate on skin integrity, look at our case studies and understand your clinical need to help aid the wheelchair service decisions.
WheelAir can also be bought directly on our website or through our partners.
If you are a healthcare professional and looking for additional resources, please visit our knowledge page or drop the team a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Microclimate Management – So much more than just airflow…
Microclimate: A critical review in the context of pressure ulcer prevention.
Read the WheelAir clinical indictions here.
Read user case studies here.
Can ventilation improve posture? Read the NHS study here.