Walking With a Wheeled Walker

(Non-reciprocating gait pattern)

Weight-bearing status:

 ______________________________________

  1. Stand in the middle of the wheeled walker. See the diagram at right.
  2. Grasp the wheeled walker grips with your hands. Then push the walker forward at an arm’s length that feels comfortable. The back legs of the walker should be even with your toes. See the diagram at right.
  3. Step forward with your affected (weaker) leg into the middle of the wheeled walker. See the diagram at right. Continue to grasp the walker grips with your hands.
  4. Then step forward with your stronger leg. See the diagram at right. As you do so, keep weight off your weaker leg by sup¬porting some weight with your arms.


Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 above — move the wheeled walker, then your weaker leg, and then your stronger leg.

Safety tips

  • Do not take a step until all 4 legs of the wheeled walker are level on the ground.
  • Do not push the wheeled walker too far ahead of you. Keep the walker’s back legs even with your toes.
  • Always keep all or part of your body (at least your toes) inside the frame of the wheeled walker.
  • Do not lean forward over your wheeled walker. Work at keeping good posture.
  • To get up from sitting, do not pull up on your wheeled walker. Instead, push up from your seat.
  • To turn or change direction, you may need to lift your wheeled walker.
  • Be careful when you walk from a tile or hardwood floor to a carpeted floor. You may need to lift your wheeled walker.
  • Be careful when you step into or out of an elevator. You may need to lift your wheeled walker.
  • Do not use your wheeled walker on stairs or an escalator.
  • Check the tips on the back legs of your wheeled walker often. Replace the tips when they become worn. You can buy new tips from a drug store or medical supply dealer.
  • It is best to use sliders on the back legs of a wheeled walker. Sliders reduce wear on your carpets.

Note: Your therapist may give you other methods for safe walker use based on your needs.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com