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Alignment of the human body in standing

  • A. M. Woodhull
  • K. Maltrud
  • B. L. Mello
Article

Summary

Alignment of the body in typical symmetrical standing was studied by photographing fifteen subjects in profile on a reaction board. Two aspects of alignment were studied: (1) the anteroposterior position of the body landmarks of knee joint, hip joint, shoulder joint, and ear, compared to the ankle joint; and (2) the positions of the partial centers of gravity above the knee and hip, as a measure of how the body is balanced above these joints.

The knee, hip, shoulder, and ear were forward of the ankle in all subjects. On average, the knee was 3.8 (±2.0), the hip 6.2 (±1.3) the shoulder 3.8 (±1.9), and the ear 5.9 (±1.6) cm (± S.D.) anterior to the ankle. The positions of landmarks were positively correlated with one another but not highly. The position of the center of gravity could be predicted well from the positions of the landmarks within individual subjects' data, but not across subjects.

The centers of gravity above the knee and hip were calculated by subtracting the mass and position of the segments below the joint from the whole-body center of gravity. The center of gravity above the knee was located on average 1.4 (±1.1) cm in front of the joint, and that of the hip 1.0 (±1.6) cm behind the trochanter. Thus, at both knee and hip in typical standing, there exist slight gravitational torques tending to extend the joints.

Key words

Posture Center of gravity Biomechanics Standing 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Woodhull
    • 1
  • K. Maltrud
    • 1
  • B. L. Mello
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Natural ScienceHampshire College AmherstAmherstUSA

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