Effect of lumbar support on seating comfort predicted by a whole human body-seat model

Li Xin Guo, Rui Chun Dong, Ming Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Automobile seat greatly affects the ride comfort of drivers in a prolonged driving. Not only the layout parameters of automobile seats, such as seat height, cushion inclination angle, backrest inclination angle, etc, but also the backrest surface related with lumbar support all affect the seating comfort. The human body-seat system includes the three-dimensional data of body based on anatomy and anthropometry, three-dimensional data of seat and adjustable assembly interaction between body and seat based on human body kinematics. Body height and driving posture are adjusted in POSER software, then the solid model of human skin, skeleton and muscle are created in ANSA software, and the integrated model of body-seat system is created in ABAQUS software. The adjustment of the lumbar support parameters is achieved by setting boundary condition of lumbar support region of seats. The finite element model of human body-seat system is validated by comparison to available literature results. At last the finite element model is applied to analyze the effect of lumbar support parameters of seats on the interaction between body and seat under the action of gravity. The pressure value and distribution, contact area, total force of backrest and intervertebral disc stress are obtained. The result shows that the optimal thickness of seat's lumbar support size for the seating comfort is 10 mm after comprehensive comparison and evaluation.Relevance to industry: This study investigated the effects of lumbar support on seating comfort, and can be used to protect the lumbar health. The modeling and simulation method can be applied for the optimization design of vehicle seats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • Automobile seat
  • Body-seat system
  • Finite element modeling
  • Lumbar support
  • Seating comfort
  • Whole human body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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