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Gait and Posture

Sanchez, M and Loram, I and Darby, J and Holmes, PS and Butler, P (2016) Gait and Posture. Gait and Posture, 51. pp. 181-187. ISSN 1879-2219

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Abstract

Maintenance of a vertically aligned posture of the head and trunk in sitting is a fundamental skill that demonstrates the presence of neuromotor control. Clinical assessments of posture are generally subjective. Studies have quantified posture using different technologies, but the application of such technologies in a clinical environment remains difficult. Video recordings, however, are easily used clinically and have potential for quantitative analysis of movement. This study used a video-based method to generate a numerical measure of postural alignment of the head and trunk in sitting. Static and dynamic trials of 12 healthy seated adults were simultaneously recorded with a sagittal video camera and a 3D motion capture system. Segmental angles were calculated for the Head, Neck and six Trunk segments. An agreed definition of aligned static sitting posture agreed was used by five clinically experienced experts to identify video frames where the participants’ posture was aligned. The five subsets of frames that defined the aligned posture were combined to give aligned segments (mean SD) for each participant. Agreement between experts in the definition (mean) of aligned segmental angles was excellent (ICC = 0.99) and intra-assessor reliability (SD) lay within 2.1 –11.6 . Agreement between the video-based method and the 3D system was below 3.8 and 8.4 for static and dynamic trials respectively. This video-based method allowed the quantification of sitting posture and provided greater detail of the trunk/spinal profile than previous methods. It has potential as a complementary tool, alongside subjective assessments, for patients with a wide variety of pathologies.

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