Article | 10. 2014 Vol. 32, Issue. 5
Electromyographic Analysis of Upper and Lower Limb Muscles during Gardening Tasks

Department of Environmental Health Science, Konkuk University1
Department of Physical Education, Graduate School of Konkuk University2
Department of Industrial Engineering, Hongik University3
Department of Physical Education, Konkuk University4

2014.10. 710:720


Movements of the upper and lower limb muscles during five common gardening tasks were analyzed by using electromyography (EMG). Twenty adults aged in their twenties (mean age, 24.8 ± 2.4 years) were recruited. On two separate occasions, subjects visited a garden plot to perform digging, raking, troweling, weeding, and hoeing; all tasks were performed three times with 20 s intervals for each trial. To measure muscle activation during the five gardening tasks, surface EMG was used. Bipolar surface EMG electrodes were attached to eight upper limb muscles (bilateral anterior deltoid, biceps brachialis, brachioradialis, and flexor carpi ulnaris) or eight lower limb muscles (bilateral vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius) on both sides of the body, for a total of 16 muscles. During the five tasks, photographs were taken of movement phases using a digital video camera. The right flexor carpi ulnaris and brachioradialis showed higher activation than the other upper and lower limb muscles measured during the tasks. All 16 upper and lower limb muscles were actively used only during digging. According to movement analysis of each activity, digging was classified into four movement phases, whereas raking, troweling, weeding, and hoeing each were divided into three movement phases. In each activity, there were high-impact phases in terms of muscle activation; the flexor carpi ulnaris and brachioradialis were identified as major muscles in each impact phase. This analysis may be used to generate biomechanical profiles of gardening tasks for practitioners when designing efficient gardening interventions for physical health or rehabilitation.

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