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Med Eng Phys. 2000 Nov;22(9):665-9.

Lumbar spine curvature during office chair sitting.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Philipps-University of Marburg, Baldingerstrasse, D-35033 Marburg, Germany.


Prolonged sitting is generally accepted as a high risk factor in low back pain and it is frequently suggested that a lordotic posture of the lumbar spine should be maintained during sitting. We asked whether the sagittal curvature of the lumbar spine during sitting is affected by the seat tilt, backrest and the direction of the synchronised mechanism of the back and seat tilt (synchro tilt). Two office chairs were tested by multibody analysis interfacing a human model with a chair model. Results indicate that a synchronised mechanism of an office chair representing a posterior tilt of the seat while the backrest is reclined maintains an evenly distributed lumbar lordosis. The segmental angles are between 3.1 and 3.6 degrees at the lumbar vertebrae 1/2-4/5 (L1/2-L4/5). These lumbar spine segmental angles are not sensitive to the backrest height. In contrast, a synchro tilt concept with a reduction of the seat's posterior tilt while the backrest is reclined causes a strong reduction of the lumbar lordosis in backrest recline with a maximum reduction from 11.7 to 2.8 degrees in L4/5. As a consequence of these results, a synchro tilt concept with a posterior tilt of the seat while the backrest is reclined is preferable from the lumbar spine kinematics point of view.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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