How High Should A Walker Be For Seniors on

How High Should A Walker Be For Seniors

How High Should a Walker Be for Seniors?

When it comes to using a walker, one of the most critical factors to consider is the proper walker height. Not only does this affect the user's mobility, but it also significantly impacts their safety. So we are going to dive deep so you have a comprehensive guide to getting it just right.

Standard Walker on

In this blog, we'll explore:

  • Why the correct walker height is essential
  • How to measure and adjust it
  • Tips for making sure it meets the user's specific needs

Importance of Proper Walker Height

Correct walker height is crucial for several reasons—it provides stability, prevents falls, and helps maintain a comfortable posture. Seniors who use walkers with heights that aren't properly adjusted may face a variety of difficulties. These include sub-optimal mobility, a heightened risk of accidents, and the possibility of health complications like joint pain or posture issues. Making sure the walker is correctly adjusted prevents these issues and enhances the user's ability to move freely and safely. 

One thing I see frequently is a walker that isn't the right height, causing the person to hunch over it. This puts the eyes at a downward gaze instead of looking forward and ahead. Interestingly, it can happen whether the walker is too high or too low. The purpose of the walker is to allow the person's arms to supplement for limits in trunk or leg strength. If the height isn't correct, they aren't able to leverage the arm strength and we end up hunched over or still struggling more than needed to walk.

How to Determine the Proper Walker Height

To find the correct walker height for seniors, follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Have the person stand upright in the shoes that they wear the most.
  2. Let their arms hang naturally to the side.
  3. Adjust the walker so that the top of the handles aligns with the wrist crease or the lower forearm.

This is the ideal proper walker height, allowing them to slightly bend their arms when holding the handles.

 This process guarantees that the walker supports the senior's natural posture and promotes safety and comfort.

How High Should The Walker Handles Be?

Upright Walker on

Standard walker handles are connected to the walker, so the total height should ideally be at a level where the senior can comfortably rest their hands while maintaining a slight bend in their elbows. This position helps prevent strain on the wrists and shoulders, aligning with ergonomic principles that promote ease of use and prevent fatigue.


If using an upright walker, the handles are actually much higher than the rest of the walker. In this setup, the forearms are supporting the weight of the body instead of the hands and wrists. In this situation, you want to take these steps:

  1. Have the person stand upright in the shoes that they wear the most.
  2. Let their shoulders hang naturally to the side but bend the elbows to 90 degrees.
  3. Adjust the walker so that the forearm troughs align with the position of the bent elbows.

How to Adjust Walker Height

Walkers come with various adjustment mechanisms but typically involve small silver push buttons. This depends on the model, but most walkers adjust this way. To adjust the height:

  1. Pinch the button and quickly slide the walker's leg up or down while the button is pushed in.
  2. Slide the walker's legs up or down to the desired height.
  3. Ensure the button is fully extended or engaged through the hole that corresponds with the right height.

Repeat these steps for each leg of the walker, making sure the height of the walker is even.

Tips for Testing and Fine-Tuning Walker Height

Once the walker is adjusted, it's important to test and fine-tune the height:

  • Have the senior take a short walk with the walker.
  • Observe their posture and comfort.
  • Check for any signs of discomfort or improper fit and adjust accordingly.

These tests help make sure the walker is well-suited to the individual's needs.

Need Help Setting Your Walker's Height?

If you need personalized assistance setting the correct height for your walker, schedule a virtual assessment with the AskSAMIE. This will give us eyes on the scene so we can help guide you. Our team is here to help you with this and any other adaptive equipment concerns. Remember, a well-adjusted walker is a key tool for the prevention of falls and the enablement of older adults to live their best life.



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Brandy Archie, OTD, OTR/L, CLIPP

Dr. Archie received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Creighton University. She is a certified Living in Place Professional with past certifications in low vision therapy, brain injury and driving rehabilitation.  Dr. Archie has over 15 years of experience in home health and elder focused practice settings which led her to start AskSAMIE, a curated marketplace to make aging in place possible for anyone, anywhere! Answer some questions about the problems the person is having and then a personalized cart of adaptive equipment and resources is provided.

She's a wife, mother of 3 and a die-hard Kansas City Chiefs fan! Connect with her on Linked In or by email anytime.

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