Academic Article


  • 2009

Aim The purpose of this paper was to describe and evaluate different aspects of muscle activity patterns associated with musculoskeletal discomfort/pain. Method Surface electromyography (sEMG) of the right upper trapezius and the right extensor digitorum muscles was conducted continuously during one working day in 19 male forest machine operators driving harvesters, 20 driving forwarders and 20 researchers at the Forest Research Institute. Perceived discomfort/pain in the right side of the neck and the right forearm was rated morning, noon and afternoon with Borg’s CR-10 scale. Static, median and peak levels of muscle activity were analyzed and the number and total duration of EMG gaps (muscular rest) were calculated. Sustained low-level muscle activity (SULMA) was defined as continuous muscle activity above 0.5% of the maximal EMG activity quantified into 10 periods of predetermined duration intervals from 1.6 to 5 s up to above 20 min. The number of SULMA periods is presented within each interval and as cumulative periods above the already determined levels. The operators handled control levers seated in a fixed position while the researchers performed mainly PC work and other varied tasks. Results A positive correlation was found between discomfort/pain in the right upper trapezius muscle region in...

Østensvik, Tove Maria; Veiersted, Kaj Bo; Nilsen, Petter Dahl
Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology 19(2): 283–294
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