An investigation into essential aspects of posture in primary school boys and male senior executives

  • M. Loots
  • J.M. Loots
  • B.J.M. Steyn


The purpose of this study was to investigate the incidence and extent of postural defects in a group of 43 middle aged senior executives from two large companies, and 58 primary school boys from rural areas. The first group had a sedentary lifestyle while the second was selected to attend an annual sports training workshop at the Sports Institute of the University of Pretoria. Postures of the subjects were analysed by means of photographic images using the pro forma of Barlow (1956, 1990). The majority of the executives had malposture with 2.3%, 23.3%, 58.1% and 16.3% and 6.3% of the subjects being categorised with slight postural defects, severe postural defects, very severe postural defects and gross deformity, respectively. The values of the primary school boys for the same categories were 3.4%, 20.7%, 48.3% and 27.6%. None of the subjects studied was categorised as being without any postural defects. The results support others in this field (Cochrane, 1924; Dart, 1947; Kiernander, 1956; Lawson-Wood & Lawson-Wood, 1977; Barlow, 1990) who observed that malposture is common in both children and adults. The most common postural defect found in both groups were kyphosis (100% in adults and 89.7% in primary school boys) and lordosis (70% in adults and 93.1% in primary school boys). Barlow (1956; 1990) in a study on various groups, found that students in Physical Education had worse postures than other students. In the present study 75.9% of the primary school boys had either very severe postural defects or gross deformity against a value of 62.4% in the male senior executives, supporting the findings of Barlow (1956; 1990) to some extent.

(S. African J. for Research in Sport, Physical Ed. and Recreation: 2001 23 (1): 37-50)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 0379-9069