The Importance of Standing Up

This "Poor Man's EZ Stand" is a device that enables a person with a spinal cord injury to stand upright. Standing is crucial to the health of a person with paraplegia. It helps the heart pump blood. It helps prevent bone mass loss (osteoporosis) by providing weight bearing exercise for the legs. It promotes better circulation. Helps prevent blood clots. Now, don't build and use anything like this without your Doctor's approval! But, this particular EZ stand is nice because it is cheap; I used about two or three dollars worth of spare wood pieces.

$5.00 Poor Man's EZ Stand

This is the bare bones Poor Man's EZ Stand. It is made out of two 2x4" boards and one 3/4" piece of plywood. The 2x4s are nailed to the plywood and have a hole at the bottom for my feet to go under. The stand is just propped against a counter top or deck railing. I cushioned my knees with a folded blanket and strapped myself into the EZ stand with ropes or a belt. I cut some rubber bicycle tubes and nailed pieces to the bottom of the 2x4s to help prevent the EZ stand from slipping on the floor. (Not shown in the picture.) Obviously I could have made it a lot fancier.

Preparing to Stand

Here I have rolled up to the EZ stand which is on a non-skid mat in front of the kitchen sink. My wife heartily approves. My feet go into the space between the bottom of the plywood and the floor. If the stand is tilted too much it might dent my shin bones and cause a pressure sore. If it is not tilted enough I might accidentally fall backwards when I stand up. There is also a danger that the bottom might scoot away from the cabinet if I lean too far foward on the top of the stand.

Standing at the sink

Here you can see the belt I used to tie myself in. I merely wrapped it around the top of the EZ stand and my body. Again, that's not too safe. I need to create a more permanent solution. It turns out that the sink is actually a bit too low for me to easily (and safely) wash dishes. My wife disapproves but thought it might be a bit extravagant to raise the sink. However, it IS possible for me to wash dishes. Smile from my wife.

Standing on the porch

On nice days I put the Poor Man's EZ Stand on the porch. It's nice just to get outside and stand without a whole lot of bother. I usually read when I am standing in the poor man's EZ stand.

The Good EZ Stand

This is a commercial model named the EasyStand. While it is more expensive than my Poor Man's EZ Stand, - get the commercial version if you can. It is preferable to the Poor Man's EZ stand in almost all cases. It is safer. It is more comfortable. It has wheels. The commercial model also has several adjustments for different sized individuals. If I raise the foot rests to their highest level I can almost reach the ceiling in the basement. I can change light bulbs and do minor electrical work on ceiling fixtures.

Cranking the EZ stand to a standing position

The long handled crank on the right hand side is used to manually raise myself to a standing position. If I press the crank fully to the rear I can lower myself gradually back to a sitting position. There are straps to keep my feet in the foot rests and a seat belt which I am not using in this picture. I can move around by turning the hand wheels which are attached to the front floor wheels. The small caster wheels in the back have locks on them. The front wheels also have locks which are used to secure the EasyStand when I transfer to and from the wheelchair.

Standing in the real EZ stand

I use the EasyStand to watch tv, read books, eat sometimes, and I can get into my tall basement shelves where many of my tools and toys are stored.

The Real EZ Stand

I thought I would show you the Real EasyStand by itself. I brightened the picture and increased the contrast in order to show more of the details of the stand.

If your insurance will pay for a real EasyStand - get it and use it. If you cannot afford a real (commercial) EasyStand perhaps something like a Poor Man's EZ Stand could help. But whatever you do, be safe! Here's a link to the commercial EasyStand website. They have a variety of products you might need.