AbstractPurpose: To test the effectiveness of sitting surfaces with varied amounts of stability on muscle activity and energy expenditure.
Methods: Using a within-participants repeated measures design, 11 healthy young-adult females (age=20.0±1.8 years) were measured using indirect calorimetry to assess energy expenditure, and electromyography to assess muscular activation in trunk and leg musculature under 3 different sitting surfaces:flat-firm surface, air-filled cushion, and a stability ball. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance with follow-up pairwise contrasts used to determine the specific effects of sitting surface on muscle activation and energy expenditure.
Results: Significantly greater energy expenditure was recorded for the stability ball (p=0.01) and the cushion (p=0.03) over the flat surface (10.4% and 9.6% greater, respectively), with no differences between the ball and the cushion. Both the ball and the cushion produced higher tibialis anterior activation over the flat surface (1.09 and 0.63 root-mean-square millivolts (RMSmv), respectively), while the stability ball produced higher soleus activity over both cushion and flat surfaces (3.97 and 4.24 RMSmv, respectively). Additionally, the cushion elicited higher adductor longus activity over the ball and flat surfaces (1.76 and 1.81 RMSmv, respectively), but no trunk musculature differences were revealed.
Conclusion: Compliant surfaces resulted in higher levels of muscular activation in the lower extremities facilitating increased caloric expenditure. Given the increasing trends in sedentary careers and the increases in obesity, this is an important finding to validate the merits of active sitting facilitating increased caloric expenditure and muscle activation.
D. Clark Dickin, Rachel K. Surowiec, Henry Wang. Energy expenditure and muscular activation patterns through active sitting on compliant surfaces[J]. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2017, 6(2): 207-212.
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