Asthma does not affect body posture in children
By Mark Cowen
30 September 2009
Eur J Pediatr 2009; 168: 1207–1216

MedWire News: Body posture in children with asthma does not differ from that in children without the respiratory disorder, study results show.

Writing in the European Journal of Pediatrics, Débora Bevilaqua Grossi (University of São Paulo, Brazil) and team explain: “The mechanical alterations related to the excessive use of accessory respiratory muscles and the mouth breathing observed in children with asthma may lead to the development of alterations in head posture, shoulders, thoracic region, and consequently, in alterations of body posture.”

However, they add that few studies have assessed body posture in asthmatic children, and those that have have produced conflicting results. To investigate further, the researchers enrolled 30 children with asthma, aged between 7 and 12 years, and 30 without the disorder who were matched for gender, age, weight, and height.

Six digital photographs (five full-body images and one close-up image of the face) were taken of each child while in a standing position, and computed photogrammetry was used to assess angles between various anatomic landmarks.

Analysis revealed that children with asthma had, on average, a significantly lower knee flexor angle than those without the respiratory condition, at 181.71° versus 175.38°.

However, there were no other significant differences in other anatomic angles of the sagittal and frontal planes between the two groups. There were also no significant differences in posture associated with various measures of asthma severity.

The researchers note that most of the findings, except for knee flexor angle, were highly reproducible in further sets of photographs taken of the children.

Grossi and team conclude: “The results of the present study demonstrated that children with mild-to-moderate asthma aged 7 to 12 years did not present postural changes compared to non-asthmatic… children, since the only angle for which there was a significant difference between groups (knee flexor angle) showed weak reproducibility.

“Therefore, the findings of this study do not support the clinical evidence that children with mild-to-moderate asthma present changes in body posture.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2009

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