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Technical note: repeatability of measurement in determining stature in sitting and standing postures

Rodacki, Cíntia de Lourd Nahhas, Fowler, Neil E., Rodacki, André L. F. and Birch, Karen M. (2001) Technical note: repeatability of measurement in determining stature in sitting and standing postures. Ergonomics, 44 (12). pp. 1076-1085. ISSN 0014-0139

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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of sitting and standing postures on the repeatability of a stadiometer designed to detect small variations in spinal length. Two groups of ten healthy subjects, with no previous or known history of back problems, participated in this study. One group was measured in the standing posture, while the other group was measured in a sitting posture. All subjects gave informed consent to participate in this study. Subjects had a set of landmarks defining the spinal contour marked on their backs and then stood in the stadiometer for three series of ten measurements to be performed. At the end of each measurement, the subjects were requested to move away from and then be repositioned in the stadiometer. Subjects improved the repeatability across the measurement series. At the end of the second measurement series, all subjects presented mean standard deviations of 0.43 +/- 0.08 mm (range 0.30-0.50 mm) in the standing posture. In the sitting posture, deviations of less than 0.05 mm were obtained only at the end of the third measurement series (0.48 +/- 0.08 mm; range 0.34-0.62 mm), suggesting that this posture required three measurement series before repeatable measurements could be assured rather than two in the standing posture.

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