When analyzing posture, a comparison is always made between what is observed and the anatomic, or standing, position. In other words, the analysis of the posture is given as how it differs from one of these positions. In order for this to be done, the person being analyzed must be free standing, so the posture can be observed from a full 360º view. This allows the observer to note any deviations from the position being compared to.
Procedure: Typically, the person being assessed will be asked to stand erect, and the observer will begin the analysis from the feet up. The main reason for this is that by the time the observing is viewing further up the body of the participant, the participant will be standing in a relaxed pose (or, their natural standing position), as they will no longer be as focused on maintaining a rigid posture, in an attempt to seem closer to “perfect”.
Tools that may be used to aid in performing a posture analysis are:
1. Plumb line:
This is hung from a ceiling and will give a fixed mid-line for comparison. The plumb line must pass through the following points on the body:
• Side View: Ear, Acromium process (Shoulder), Greater Trochanter (Hip), and approximately 2cm anterior to the ankle.
• Posterior View: Spinal Column
The plumb line is most effective as walls are very rarely straight and often do not provide good points of reference. It is also easy available, cheap and easy to assemble and disassemble.
2. Posture Grid:
This is best used for good bi-lateral comparisons. It is not as easily available and cheap as a plumb line, but does create a more professional impression.
This can be accessed easily off online sources, and can often be accessed at no cost. The software is often best utilized in conjunction with a plumb line or grid mirror.