Effect of different sitting postures on lung capacity, expiratory flow, and lumbar lordosis

Fang Lin, Sriranjani Parthasarathy, Susan J. Taylor, Deborah Pucci, Ronald W. Hendrix, Mohsen Makhsous*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the effect of sitting posture on lung capacity and expiratory flow (LC-EF) and lumbar lordosis. Design: Repeated measures on 1 group of subjects in 4 postures. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Seventy able-bodied volunteers. Interventions: Postures were assumed randomly: normal, with full ischial support and flat lumbar support; slumped, with the pelvis positioned in the middle of seat while leaning against the backrest; against the back part of the seat without ischial support (WO-BPS), with partially removed ischial support and an enhanced lumbar support; and standing. Main Outcome Measures: For LC-EF, forced vital capacity, maximum forced expiratory flow, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and peak expiratory flow; and lumbar lordosis. Results: All LC-EF measures in standing were significantly superior to those in slumped and normal sitting, and 4 measures were significantly higher than in WO-BPS. In slumped sitting, LC-EF significantly decreased from that in normal sitting. WO-BPS sitting significantly increased 4 of the LC-EF measures from those in the normal sitting. Lumbar lordosis was the highest in standing and progressively decreased in WO-BPS, normal, and slumped sitting. Conclusions: Slumped sitting significantly decreased LC-EF and lumbar lordosis. Because it increases the lumbar lordosis and promotes LC-EF, the WO-BPS posture may be a better seating option for people sitting for a prolonged time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


  • Lordosis
  • Lung volume measurements
  • Posture
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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