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BMJ Open. 2018 Aug 5;8(8):e022236. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022236.

Standard reference values of the upper body posture in healthy young female adults in Germany: an observational study.

Author information

1
Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Germany.
2
School of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.
3
Institute of Biostatistics and Mathematical Modeling, Goethe University Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Classifications of posture deviations are only possible compared with standard values. However, standard values have been published for healthy male adults but not for female adults.

DESIGN:

Observational study.

SETTING:

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main.

PARTICIPANTS:

106healthy female volunteers (21-30 years old; 25.1±2.7 years) were included. Their body weight ranged from 46 to 106 kg (60.3±7.9 kg), the heights from 1.53 to 1.82 m (1.69±0.06 m) and the body mass index from 16.9 kg/m² to 37.6 kg/m² (21.1±2.6 kg/m²).

OUTCOME MEASURES:

A three-dimensional back scan was performed to measure the upper back posture in habitual standing. The tolerance ranges and CI were calculated. Group differences were tested by the Wilcoxon Mann-Whitney U test.

RESULTS:

In normal posture, the spinal column was marginally twisted to the left, and the vertebrae were marginally rotated to the right. The kyphosis angle is larger than the lumbar angle. Consequently, a more kyphotic posture is observed in the sagittal plane. The habitual posture is slightly scoliotic with a rotational component (scapular depression right, right scapula marginally more dorsally, high state of pelvic right, iliac right further rotated anteriorly).

CONCLUSIONS:

Healthy young women have an almost ideally balanced posture with minimal ventral body inclination and a marginal scoliotic deviation. Compared with young males, women show only marginal differences in the upper body posture. These values allow a comparison to other studies, both for control and patient data, and may serve as guideline in both clinical practice and scientific studies.

KEYWORDS:

back scan; body posture; female subjects; standard value

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