Investigation of the mass distribution of a detailed seated male finite element model

J Appl Biomech. 2014 Jun;30(3):471-6. doi: 10.1123/jab.2013-0007. Epub 2013 Dec 17.


Accurate mass distribution in computational human body models is essential for proper kinematic and kinetic simulations. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mass distribution of a 50th percentile male (M50) full body finite element model (FEM) in the seated position. The FEM was partitioned into 10 segments, using segment planes constructed from bony landmarks per the methods described in previous research studies. Body segment masses and centers of gravity (CGs) of the FEM were compared with values found from these studies, which unlike the present work assumed homogeneous body density. Segment masses compared well to literature while CGs showed an average deviation of 6.0% to 7.0% when normalized by regional characteristic lengths. The discrete mass distribution of the FEM appears to affect the mass and CGs of some segments, particularly those with low-density soft tissues. The locations of the segment CGs are provided in local coordinate systems, thus facilitating comparison with other full body FEMs and human surrogates. The model provides insights into the effects of inhomogeneous mass on the location of body segment CGs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry / methods*
  • Body Weight*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Gravitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Pressure