Photographic analysis of human posture: a literature review

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2014 Jan;18(1):56-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Jun 14.


Introduction: The study of posture is not an easy task, mainly because postural assessment is still scientifically inaccurate. Photographs of bipedalism in the frontal and sagittal planes are one of the most widely used methods for this assessment. The aim of this literature review was to determine which anatomical markers authors of scientific papers have taken to minimize the chances of error in measurements.

Materials and methods: The Medline and Lilacs databases were searched for the period from 2002 to 2012, with the following keywords: "postura"; "posture" and "postural."

Discussion: A number of studies have shown a reasonable correlation between radiographic measurements and the placement of markers. It appears possible to use photography as a form of scientific assessment since the anatomical landmarks are well chosen.

Conclusion: The markers that were suggested in this review: malleolus; posterior calcaneal tuberosity; fibular head; tibial tuberosity; greater trochanter of the femur; anterior angle and/or posterior lateral edge of the acromion; spinous processes (particularly C7); inferior angle of the scapula; sternum manubrium; mental protuberance; and the intertragic notch. Iliac spines, both anterior superior and posterior superior, should only be used with lean subjects.

Keywords: Assessment; Photogrammetry; Posture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Head
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Photography*
  • Posture / physiology*
  • Scapula
  • Shoulder
  • Spine