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Europa Medicophysica 2001 June;37(2):101-9

Copyright © 2001 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Three-dimensional analysis of the sitting posture

Lissoni A., Caimmi M., Rossini M., Terenghi L.

From the “Villa Beretta” Rehabilitation Centre Costa Masnaga (Lecco) and Ospedale Valduce di Como *Laboratory of Movement Analysis


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Background. An eval­u­a­tion of ­the sit­ting pos­ture is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in sub­jects ­who, ­for path­o­log­i­cal rea­sons, ­are ­unable to ­stand ­upright; ­the ­data ­obtained ­allow ­the ­most suit­able ­aids to be cho­sen ­and ­their ­ideal adap­ta­tion. The ­aim of ­this ­study ­was to ­define a quan­ti­ta­tive meth­od of meas­ur­ing sit­ting pos­ture in ­both stat­ic (posi­tion relat­ing to pel­vis – shoul­ders – ­head) ­and dynam­ic con­di­tions (pos­sibil­ity of mov­ing ­trunk ­and ­head ­both in rota­tion ­and lat­er­al flex­ion).
Methods. The mate­ri­als ­used ­include an optoel­ec­tron­ic ­system ­for move­ment anal­y­sis (­with appro­pri­ate adap­ta­tions ­and ded­i­cat­ed soft­ware) ­and a spe­cial­ly ­built ­chair ­that ­meets ­the require­ments of ­the ­test ­and ­also ­allows ­for ­the pos­sible dif­fi­cul­ties of ­the sub­jects to be test­ed. A ­total of 15 ­healthy ­male sub­jects ­aged ­between 14 ­and 16 ­years ­old ­were ­enrolled in ­the ­study. The pel­vis, shoul­ders ­and ­head seg­ments ­were iden­ti­fied ­using 8 mark­ers so ­that ­their recip­ro­cal rela­tions ­could be ­defined on ­the fron­tal ­and hor­i­zon­tal ­planes; ­the pos­sibil­ities of rota­tion, lat­er­al flex­ion ­and (­for ­the ­head ­alone) flex­ion-exten­sion ­were ­then meas­ured.
Results. In addi­tion to ­the remark­able sym­me­try of ­the ­data ­obtained (­healthy sub­jects), ­the sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of ­the ­results ­show min­i­mum ­degrees of rota­tion-incli­na­tion of ­the seg­ments stud­ied, ­both in rela­tion to ­the exter­nal ­space ­and ­between ­one ­another. The dynam­ic ­test con­firms ­the sym­me­try of ­data ­and ­shows ­that cer­vi­cal mobil­ity is approx­i­mate­ly dou­ble in rota­tions com­pared to lat­er­al flex­ion; ­the cer­vi­cal con­tri­bu­tion to rota­tion is con­sid­er­ably great­er ­than ­the tho­rac­ic ­and lum­bar verte­brae togeth­er; ­the cer­vi­cal con­tri­bu­tion to lat­er­al flex­ion is ­almost ­the ­same as ­the ­sum of ­the tho­rac­ic ­and lum­bar com­po­nents. Lastly, in cer­vi­cal move­ments on a sag­it­tal ­plane, flex­ion cor­re­sponds to approx­i­mate­ly 40% where­as ­the exten­sion occu­pies ­the remain­ing 60%.
Conclusions. In con­clu­sion, a ­three-dimen­sion­al anal­y­sis of ­the sit­ting pos­ture ­and ­the rel­a­tive pos­sibil­ity of ­trunk ­and ­head move­ment ­appears to be a fea­sible ­test ­that is repeat­able, reli­able ­and use­ful ­for ­the func­tion­al eval­u­a­tion of wheel­chair sub­jects ­and to ­define ­the ­aids ­that ­are ­often sug­gest­ed in ­their reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.

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