The influence of body posture, and inherently support, on thoracic impact response was investigated in an animal model. Anesthetized and postmortem domestic swine were exposed to blunt, midsternal loading while supported in their natural quadrupedal posture, and the results were compared with previously reported data from similar tests involving an upright body orientation. Twelve male animals were tested, six while anesthetized and six postmortem. Each animal was impacted once by a 21 kg rigid mass with a flat contact interface moving at a nominal velocity of either 8 or 10 m/s. Measured mechanical responses included applied load, sternal and spinal accelerations, thoracic compression and aortic overpressure. Injury response was assessed from a thoracico-abdominal necropsy. In addition, ECG traces were recorded pre and postimpact to monitor electro-physiological response.