The purpose of this systematic review was to investigate the effect of dynamic sitting on trunk muscle activation in sitting. Electronic databases were searched by two independent reviewers. Studies were included if they compared the effect of dynamic sitting on trunk muscle activation to a more static sitting condition. Seven studies were eligible for inclusion, six of which were rated as "high-quality" using the PEDro scale. Five studies reported no difference in trunk muscle activation. Two studies reported a difference in trunk muscle activation, yet this was associated with increased discomfort, increased fatigue and greater spinal shrinkage. Furthermore, the changes reported in these two studies may be more related to the absence of a backrest rather than dynamic sitting. Therefore, the findings of this review suggest dynamic sitting does not significantly change trunk muscle activation. No randomised clinical trials or longitudinal design studies were found which evaluated the effect of dynamic sitting on trunk muscle activation, limiting the ability to make definitive conclusions about causality. The implications of the results, and recommendations for future research, are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.