SWOV Catalogus


Assessment of muscle fatigue in low level monotonous task performance during car driving.
20051553 ST [electronic version only]
Hostens, I. & Ramon, H.
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Vol. 15 (2005), No. 3 (June), p. 266-274, 48 ref.

Samenvatting Knowledge of the muscle activation and the development of muscle fatigue may provide more inside in the effects of long-term driving in the occurrence of health problems in the neck/shoulder/back area. The basic assumption behind fatigue detection with electromyography (EMG) is an increase in the EMG amplitude and a decrease of the mean frequency (MF). This study aimed at checking this assumption in monotonous task performance with low level activity during car driving. Surface electromyography was captured from left and right trapezius and deltoid muscles, during a repetitive, non-continuous, driving task (gearing and steering) and the active parts were separated from the non-active parts. Muscle stiffness was reported by more than half of the subjects after a 1 h drive. Only for the active parts a significant decrease of the MF was seen. But also the EMG amplitude decreased significantly. Two possible mechanisms are posted in literature for this finding: no extra recruitment of motor units (MU) and potentiation of muscle fibers. Literature also hypothesizes that low-force occupational work engages only a fraction of the MU available for recruitment and that these units are selectively type I muscle fibers (Cinderella fibers). Initiators of this phenomenon are probably the time lag between activations and the stress from driving and vibration exposure. (Author/publisher)
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