Can computationally predicted internal loads be used to assess sitting discomfort? preliminary results

Ilias Theodorakos, Léo Savonnet, Georges Beurier, Xuguang Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Whether internal body loads such as muscle forces and joint forces could be used as objective factors to assess sitting discomfort remains an open research question. The present study investigated the potential relationship between computationally predicted internal loads and subjective discomfort ratings. Volunteers were recruited to provide discomfort ratings on a wide range of sitting configurations resulted in by altering the seat pan angle and the backrest angle of a multi-adjustable experimental seat. Moreover, two preferred seat pan angles were selected by the participants, starting from two different initial seat pan angles, allowing the classification of the trials to preferred and not preferred. Kinematic, force and pressure data served as inputs on a musculoskeletal model that enabled the computation of internal loads. Significant positive correlations were found between the subjective ratings and muscle force, compressive force between L4–L5 and seat pan shear force. Significant reduction in the seat pan shear force was found for the preferred compared to the not preferred trials, but no significant differences were found for the muscle and joint forces. Our results suggest that the seat pan shear force and potentially computationally predicted internal loads could be used to assess sitting discomfort. However, the outcome should be interpreted with caution due to limited number of observations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018) - Volume VI : Transport Ergonomics and Human Factors TEHF, Aerospace Human Factors and Ergonomics
EditorsYushi Fujita, Sebastiano Bagnara, Riccardo Tartaglia, Sara Albolino, Thomas Alexander
Number of pages10
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)9783319960739
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2018 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 26 Aug 201830 Aug 2018


Conference20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2018
SeriesAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement. The work is partly supported by Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (project n°2014 930818).

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.


  • Internal loads
  • Inverse dynamics
  • Musculoskeletal modeling
  • Sitting discomfort


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