The purpose of this study is to investigate whole spinal alignment patterns in an automotive seated posture. Image data sets of eight female and seven male seated volunteers were acquired using upright open Magnetic Resonance Imaging systems. The images were processed to extract the whole spine alignment defined with the centres of the vertebral bodies. Patterns of the whole spine alignment were investigated through Multi‐Dimensional Scaling analyses. The analysis revealed that variations in the whole spine alignment due to individual differences were seen most remarkably in the combination of curvature of the cervical spinal alignment and degree of the thoracic kyphosis with its peak vertebra level. Subjects with cervical lordosis tended to have a pronounced thoracic kyphosis, with the peak of this kyphosis located at a lower vertebra level. Subjects with cervical kyphosis tended to have a less pronounced thoracic kyphosis, with the peak of this kyphosis at a higher vertebra level. These trends were also observed in the differences of average spinal alignments between males and females.
Keywords: Driving posture, Spinal alignment, MRI, Multi‐Dimensional Scaling, Automotive