2005 Volume 24 Issue 2 Pages 167-173
Seiza is one of the most commonly used sitting postures in various enrichment lessons of Japanese origin. It is reported that Seiza with large knee flexion produces harmful effects on the cartilage of knee joints and hemodynamics of the lower legs. This study aimed at examining the influence of Seiza on tissue oxygenation kinetics of the lower limbs, plantar somatic and cutaneous sensation, and the center of foot pressure (COP) sway using 10 young adults. COP sway was measured for 1 min just after sitting on a chair for 10 min (pre-test), after 30-min Seiza (post-test 1), and 5 min after Seiza (post-test 2). To evaluate the COP sway, we used 4 body sway factors; unit time sway factor (F1), front-back sway factor (F2), left-right sway factor (F3) and high frequency band power spectrum factor (F4). Physiological parameters (i.e., tissue oxygenation kinetics in the lower legs and sensation on the sole) were measured during 30-min Seiza (continuously on tissue oxygenation, and at 1 min intervals on sensation), and for 1 min just before each COP test (pre-test, post-test 1 and 2).
Oxygenated hemoglobin/myoglobin (Hb/Mb) concentration decreased markedly and deoxygenated Hb/Mb concentration increased markedly, resulting in reaching a plateau state at around 7 min. Tissue Hb/Mb index changed little during Seiza. Proprioceptive perception thresholds increased rapidly about 17 min after Starting Seiza. Means of 3 COP sway factors of F1, F2 and F4 were significantly higher in post-test 1 than in pre-test and post-test 2. In conclusion, a marked decrease in tissue oxygen concentration of the lower legs within 4–5 min, and an increase of proprioceptive perception thresholds in the sole at about 17 min are induced by Seiza. Although wiggle and quick body sway in the antero-posterior axis increases markedly in an upright posture just after maintaining Seiza for 30 min, sway recovers after sitting on a chair for 5 min.