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Chosen postures during specific sitting activities

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This research study analysed the interaction between people's postures and activities while in semi-public/leisure situations and during transportation (journey by train). In addition, the use of small electronic devices received particular emphasis. Video recordings in German trains and photographs in Dutch semi-public spaces were analysed using a variation of Branton and Grayson's (An evaluation of train seats by observation of sitting behaviour. Ergonomics, 10 (1), (1967), 35–51) postural targeting forms and photos. The analysis suggests a significant relationship between most activities and the position of the head, trunk and arms during transportation situations. The relationship during public situations is less straightforward. Watching, talking/discussing and reading were the most observed activities for the transportation and leisure situations combined. Surprisingly, differences in head, trunk, arm and leg postures were not significant when using small electronic devices. Important issues not considered in this study include the duration of the activities, the gender and age of observed subjects and the influence of the time of day. These are interesting issues to consider and include for future research.

Statement of Relevance: This study shows what activities people choose to carry out and their related postures when not forced to a specific task (e.g. driving). The results of this study can be used for designing comfortable seating in the transportation industry (car passenger, train, bus and aircraft seats) and semi-public/leisure spaces.
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Keywords: activities; comfort; postures; seating; sitting postures; small electronic devices; train seats; transport: tasks

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: BMW AG Forschungs- und Innovationszentrum, München, Germany 2: Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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