Requirements for upper extremity motions during activities of daily living

DJ Magermans, EKJ Chadwick, HEJ Veeger, FCT Van Der Helm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Functioning of the upper extremity after implantation of an endoprosthesis remains limited despite the achieved pain relief. Upper extremity kinematics can give insight into function after shoulder arthroplasty. Data on ranges of motion related to the performance of a selection of activities of daily living can aid the clinician in evaluating the outcome of the shoulder and elbow arthroplasties.

Methods. Cross-sectional descriptive study of range of motion and activities of daily living kinematics, conducted on non-impaired subjects.

The shoulder and elbow motions of 24 healthy female subjects are measured with an electromagnetic tracking device while performing 8 range of motion tasks and five activities of daily living. The angles of shoulder and elbow are calculated during these tasks.

Results. A data set with upper extremity joint angles has been obtained. Large glenohumeral rotations are found for the tasks that require high elevation angles. Large axial rotations of the humerus are found for two of the activities of daily living tasks: the perineal care task and the hair-combing task. Large elbow flexions were seen in the following tasks: combing hair, washing the axilla and eating with a spoon.

Interpretation. This study shows a suitable method to describe range of motion and activities of daily living and can serve as a starting point for developing a database on how activities of daily living are performed in a larger population and which joint angles are required to perform these tasks.

Results can be used to identify restrictions in upper extremity functioning in patients with shoulder impairments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-599
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


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