The person walks with the frame surrounding their front and sides and their hands provide additional support by holding on to the top of the sides of the frame. Traditionally, a walker is picked up and placed a short distance ahead of the user. The user then walks to it and repeats the process. With the use of wheels and glides, the user may push the walker ahead as opposed to picking it up. This makes for easier use of the walker, as it does not require the user to use their arms to lift the walker. This is beneficial for those with little arm strength.
A walker is often used by those who are recuperating from leg or back injuries. It is also commonly used by persons having problems with walking or with mild balance problems.
Also related is a hemi-walker, a walker about half the size of a traditional walker which is intended for use by persons whose dexterity is limited or non-existent in one hand or arm. These walkers are more stable than a quad cane (a cane with four points that touch the ground, as opposed to one), but are not recommended as highly as a traditional walker for those who can use it.