This paper investigates the deformations and stresses in the buttocks of a person when he sits on a cushion. The study is motivated by the need for a better understanding of the design of wheelchair cushions and the prevention of decubitus ulcers. The finite element method is used on an axisymmetric model. Surface pressure distribution, surface friction, hydrostatic pressures and von Mises stresses are obtained. The finite element model reveals the three-dimensional state of stress at all internal locations for a typical human body. Thus the study complements the experimental measurements performed by many physicians and bioengineers.

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