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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Is active sitting on a dynamic office chair controlled by the trunk muscles?
Authors: Kuster, Roman Peter
Bauer, Christoph Michael
Baumgartner, Daniel
et. al: No
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0242854
Published in: PLOS ONE
Volume(Issue): 15
Issue: 11
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Public Library of Science 
ISSN: 1932-6203
Language: English
Subjects: Adult; Back Muscles; Biomechanical Phenomena; Electromyography; Female; Humans; Interior Design and Furnishings; Low Back Pain; Lumbosacral Region; Male; Middle Aged; Posture; Range of Motion, Articular; Spine; Young Adult; Ergonomics; Sitting Position
Subject (DDC): 620: Engineering
Abstract: Today's office chairs are not known to promote active sitting or to activate the lumbar trunk muscles, both of which functions are ergonomically recommended. This study investigated a newly developed dynamic office chair with a moveable seat, specifically designed to promote trunk muscle controlled active sitting. The study aimed to determine the means by which the seat movement was controlled during active sitting. This was accomplished by quantifying trunk and thigh muscular activity and body kinematics. Additionally, the effect of increased spinal motion on muscular activity and body kinematics was analysed. Ten subjects were equipped with reflective body markers and surface electromyography on three lumbar back muscles (multifidus, iliocostalis, longissimus) and two thigh muscles (vastus lateralis and medialis). Subjects performed a reading task during static and active sitting in spontaneous and maximum ranges of motion in a simulated office laboratory setting. The temporal muscle activation pattern, average muscle activity and body segment kinematics were analysed and compared using Friedman and post-hoc Wilcoxon tests (p≤0.05). Active sitting on the new chair significantly affected the lumbar trunk muscles, with characteristic cyclic unloading/loading in response to the seat movement. Neither thigh muscle activity nor lateral body weight shift were substantially affected by active sitting. When participants increased their range of motion, the lumbar back muscles were activated for longer and relaxation times were shorter. The characteristic activity pattern of the lumbar trunk muscles was shown to be the most likely dominant factor in controlling seat movement during active sitting. Consequently, the new chair may have a potential positive impact on back health during prolonged sitting. Further studies are necessary to analyse the frequency and intensity of active sitting during daily office work.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: School of Health Sciences
School of Engineering
Organisational Unit: Institute of Mechanical Systems (IMES)
Institute of Physiotherapy (IPT)
Published as part of the ZHAW project: T-CHAIR
Appears in collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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