The influence of initial posture on the sit-to-stand movement

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1989;58(7):687-92. doi: 10.1007/BF00637377.


Head movements, ground reaction forces and electromyographic activity of selected muscles were recorded simultaneously from two subjects as they performed the sit-to-stand manouevre under a variety of conditions. The influence of initial leg posture on the magnitude of the various parameters under investigation was examined first. A preferred initial leg posture resulted in smaller magnitudes of head movement and ground reaction forces. EMG activity in some muscles, trapezius and erector spinae, decreased, while in others, quadriceps and hamstrings, it increased in the preferred leg posture. The decreases seen correlate with reductions in head movement observed. The effect of inhibiting habitual postural adjustments of the head and neck, by comparing "free" and "guided" movements was also examined. In guided movements there are significant reductions in head movement, ground reaction forces and EMG activity in trapezius, sternomastoid and erector spinae. It would appear that both initial leg posture and the abolition of habitual postural adjustment have a profound influence on the efficiency of the sit-to-stand manouevre. This preliminary study high-lights the practical importance of head posture in the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders, as well as in movement education.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Movement*
  • Posture*