Sagittal standing posture and relationships with anthropometrics and body composition during childhood

Fábio A. Araújo*, Daniela Simões, Poliana Silva, Nuno Alegrete, Raquel Lucas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Anthropometry and body composition are plausible influences on pediatric sagittal standing posture. Despite that, the relationship of anthropometrics since birth and body composition with individual postural parameters in children has never been assessed. Research question: To assess the associations between anthropometrics since birth and body composition parameters, and angles of sagittal standing posture in children. Methods: The sample included 1021 girls and 1096 boys, evaluated in the population-based birth cohort Generation XXI, Portugal. Weight and height were obtained at birth, 4 and 7 years of age. At age 7, total body less head fat/fat-free mass and bone properties were estimated from whole body dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scans and posture was assessed through right-side photographs during habitual standing with retro-reflective markers placed on body landmarks. Results: Girls showed increased values of lumbar angle, head and neck flexion, and craniocervical angle with the largest mean (standard deviation) difference in lumbar angle [281.7° (7.4) vs. 276.8° (7.1) in boys, p < 0.001]. In both genders, weight and body mass index were weakly associated with lumbar angle: 0.24 ≥ r ≤ 0.31 in girls and 0.16 ≥ r ≤ 0.26 in boys, all p < 0.001. Fat and fat-free mass and bone mineral density were weakly associated with lumbar angle in both genders. Significance: Our study showed clear postural heterogeneity between girls and boys in early ages. Lumbar angle is likely to be the single most relevant proxy of overall posture based on the associations with the exposures reported in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-51
Number of pages7
JournalGait and Posture
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Body size
  • Children
  • Sagittal standing posture
  • Sex differences


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