Development of upper body coordination during sitting in typically developing infants

Pediatr Res. 2009 May;65(5):553-8. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31819d9051.


Our goal was to determine how the actions of the thorax and the pelvis are organized and coordinated to achieve independent sitting posture in typically developing infants. The participants were 10 typically developing infants who were evaluated longitudinally from first onset of sitting until sitting independence. Each infant underwent nine testing sessions. The first session included motor evaluation with the Peabody test. The other eight sessions occurred over a period of 4 mo where sitting behavior was evaluated by angular kinematics of the thorax and the pelvis. A physical therapist evaluated sitting behavior in each session and categorized it according to five stages. The phasing relationship of the thorax and the pelvis was calculated and evaluated longitudinally using a one-way analysis of variance. With development, the infants progressed from an in-phase (moving in the same direction) to an out-of-phase (moving in an opposite direction) coordinative relationship between the thorax and the pelvis segments. This change was significant for both sagittal and frontal planes of motion. Clinically, this relationship is important because it provides a method to quantify infant sitting postural development, and can be used to assess efficacy of early interventions for pediatric populations with developmental motor delays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Child Development*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Motor Skills*
  • Pelvis / physiology*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Posture*
  • Thorax / physiology*
  • Video Recording