Validation of Computationally Estimated Human Body-Seat Contact Forces During Sitting

Ilias Theodorakos*, Xuguang Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

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


Internal loads such as muscle and spinal disc forces are used for the evaluation and the design of seats. Such loads can be non-invasively estimated by employing musculoskeletal models which use body posture and contact forces as inputs. Estimations of the human-seat contact forces can be used as an alternative to complex, time consuming and expensive experimental measurements. However limited evidence exists on the validation of these contact forces estimations. Therefore, this study investigated how well modeling procedures can estimate the human-seat contact forces. Participants with different anthropometric dimensions performed a wide range of sitting postures using a multi-adjustable experimental seat. The postures of the participants were recorded using a full body marker protocol. Additionally, the contact forces were measured at the seat pan, back rest, feet and arm rests. Subsequently, subject specific musculoskeletal models were developed to estimate the contact forces via an optimization routine, using the recorded kinematics and the positions of the force platforms as inputs. The computed contact forces were compared against the experimentally obtained ones. Good agreement was observed between the simulated and the measured seat pan and back forces, supporting the use of the musculoskeletal modelling approach for investigating sitting biomechanics related questions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Digital Human Modeling : Proceedings of the 8th International Digital Human Modeling Symposium, 4-6 September 2023, Antwerp, Belgium
EditorsSofia Scataglini, Wim Saeys, Steven Truijen, Gregor Harih
Number of pages10
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-37850-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-37848-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventProceedings of the 8th International Digital Human Modeling Symposium - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 4 Sept 20236 Sept 2023


ConferenceProceedings of the 8th International Digital Human Modeling Symposium
SeriesLecture Notes in Networks and Systems
Volume744 LNNS

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • internal loads
  • Musculoskeletal modeling
  • optimization
  • sitting biomechanics
  • sitting postures


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