Individuals who cannot functionally reposition themselves often need dynamic seating interventions that change body posture from automatic chair adjustments. Pelvis alignment directly affects sitting posture, and systems that adjust and monitor pelvis angle simultaneously might be applicable to control body posture in sitting. The present study explores whether it is feasible to monitor pelvis angle from seat support forces. Pelvis angle estimation was based on equivalent “two-force member” loading for which pelvis orientation equals the orientation of the equivalent contact force. Theoretical evaluation was done to derive important conditions for practical application. An instrumented wheelchair was developed for experimental validation in healthy subjects. Seat support forces were measured, and mechanical analysis was done to derive the equivalent contact force from which we estimated the pelvis angle. Model analysis showed a significant influence of pelvis mass, hip force, and lumbar torque on the relation between the actual pelvis angle and the predicted pelvis angle. Proper force compensation and minimal lumbar torque seemed important for accurate pelvis angle estimations. Experimental evaluation showed no body postures that involved a clear relation between the pelvis angle and the orientation of the equivalent contact force. Findings suggest that pelvis angle could not be estimated in healthy individuals under the described experimental seating conditions. Validation experiments with impaired individuals must be performed under different seating conditions to provide a better understanding whether the principle is of interest for clinical application.
Can Pelvis Angle be Monitored From Seat Support Forces in Healthy Subjects?
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Geffen, P. V., Veltink, P. H., and Koopman, B. F. J. M. (December 23, 2008). "Can Pelvis Angle be Monitored From Seat Support Forces in Healthy Subjects?." ASME. J Biomech Eng. March 2009; 131(3): 034502. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.3005345
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