Biomechanical Analysis of the Sit-to-Stand Transition

  • Ivette Campos Padilla

Student thesis: Phd


The Sit-to-Stand (STS) transition is a voluntary daily activity that consists of rising from a sitting position to a standing position, an activity that is typically performed by a person several times a day. To undertake the activity successfully requires the coordination of the body limbs in order to transfer the body weight between the sitting and standing positions, maintaining the balance, in order to avoid a fall. A biomechanical analysis of the STS transition provides useful information about the motor ability and control strategy of a person and as such, it is commonly employed to assess functional performance, and as an indicator of lower limb strength in the elderly and in people with disabling diseases.The aim of the work described in this thesis was to investigate and analyse the STS transition in two groups of healthy subjects, a cohort (n=10) of younger adult participants (age range 28±2 years) and a cohort (n=10) of older adult participants (age range 56±8 years), in order to identify the differences in the performances within and between the two groups when the STS transition was undertaken at different speeds.The two groups of participants performed STS transition trials at three, different, self-selected speeds (normal, slow and fast) during which data was recorded from a caption systems, consisting of a set of six infrared-cameras and two force plates. The in-vivo data obtained was applied to a link segment biomechanical model enabling the kinematic contribution of the major body segments to the STS activity to be determined for each participant. A principal component analysis (PCA) was undertaken to identify any aggregate and segmental differences in the STS transition performance between speeds. In addition, a kinetic analysis was performed to determine the torque and power contributions of the lower limb joints during the STS transition.The results from the analysis showed that younger and older participants performed the STS transition with a similar pattern, but they used different strategies to ascend according to the speed at which the activity was being performed. The younger participants used the same strategy at slow speed than the older participants used at slow and normal speeds. Likewise, the younger participants used the same strategy at normal and fast speeds as the older participants used at fast speed. From the segmental analysis it was found that the upper-body and pelvis segments presented the larger variability than the other segments. From the joint analysis, the knee and hip joints were identified as the joints that provide the greatest contribution to the STS transition as they generated most of the power and torque required for the activity.The results obtained and the methodology developed could help clinicians with the diagnosis, planning and selection of treatment for patients with a lack of mobility. This type of analysis may also find application in fields such as robotics, ergonomics and sports training.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorM.T. Alonso Rasgado (Supervisor) & Lei Ren (Supervisor)


  • Sit-to-Stand
  • Biomechanics
  • Human Motion

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