Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate whether supported standing can affect lower limb muscle length, spasticity, bone mineral density or the function of adults with upper motor neurone disorders. DATA SOURCES: A search was conducted of MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, CINAHL and Cochrane library electronic databases; clinical trial registers via and complemented with citation tracking. REVIEW METHODS: Two reviewers independently evaluated eligibility and methodological quality. Class I and II studies of assisted standing for adults with stroke, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury were eligible. A domain-based risk of bias approach was used to assess quality. RESULTS: Seventeen studies were included: 11 class I and 6 class II studies involving 540 participants, of whom 73% were non-ambulant. Quality was generally low, with only two high quality trials identified. High-quality evidence suggested tilt-table standing has a small effect on preventing loss of ankle dorsiflexion. One high-quality study found a low-dose standing programme did not alter bone loss early after spinal injury. Class II low-quality evidence suggested long-term, higher dose programmes may slow bone loss. Limited evidence for the effectiveness of standing on spasticity and function was inconclusive. CONCLUSION: Supported standing can prevent small losses of ankle mobility but the clinical importance of these effects is uncertain. Low-dose standing is unlikely to protect bone health.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin rehabil

Publication Date





1059 - 1077


Activities of Daily Living, Adult, Bone Density, Humans, Leg, Motor Neuron Disease, Muscular Atrophy, Osteoporosis, Range of Motion, Articular, Self-Help Devices