Article Search Advanced
Journal of Sport and Health Science  2017, Vol. 6 Issue (2): 207-212    DOI: 10.1016/j.jshs.2015.10.004
Original articles Current Issue | Next Issue | Archive | Adv Search Previous Articles  |  Next Articles  
Energy expenditure and muscular activation patterns through active sitting on compliant surfaces
D. Clark Dickin, Rachel K. Surowiec, Henry Wang
Biomechanics Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA
 Download: PDF (470 KB)   HTML  Export: BibTeX | EndNote (RIS)      Supporting Info
Abstract Purpose: 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.
E-mail this article
Add to my bookshelf
Add to citation manager
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
Key wordsEnergy metabolism   Electromyography   Female   Posture   Sedentary lifestyle   Workplace     
Published: 2015-11-18
Corresponding Authors: D.Clark Dickin,E-mail address:dcdickin@bsu.edu   
 E-mail: dcdickin@bsu.edu
Cite this article:   
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.
[1] Gråstén A. Children's expectancy beliefs and subjective task values through two years of school-based program and associated links to physical education enjoyment and physical activity. J Sport Health Sci 2016;5:500-8.
[2] Askling CM, Tengvar M, Saartok T, Thorstensson A. Acute first-time hamstring strains during high-speed running:a longitudinal study including clinical and magnetic resonance imaging findings. Am J Sports Med 2007;35:197-206.
[3] Pate RR, McIver K, Dowda M, Brown WH, Addy C. Directly-observed physical activity levels in preschool children. J Sch Health 2008; 78:438-44.
[4] National Association for Sport and Physical Education. Active start:a statement of physical activity guidelines for children birth to five years. 2nd ed. Reston, VA:Author; 2009.
[5] Sui Z, Turnbull DA, Dodd JM. Overweight and obese women's perceptions about making healthy change during pregnancy:a mixed method study. Matern Child Health J 2012;17:1879-87.
[6] Tikkanen O, Haakana P, Pesola AJ, Häkkinen K, Rantalainen T, Havu M, et al. Muscle activity and inactivity periods during normal daily life. PLoS One 2013;8:e52228. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052228
[7] Zeng N, Pope Z, Lee JE, Gao Z. A systematic review of active video games on rehabilitative outcomes among older patients. J Sport Health Sci 2017; 6:33-43.
[8] Boyer C, Tremblay MS, Saunders TJ, McFarlane A, Borghese M, Lloyd M, et al. Feasibility, validity and reliability of the plank isometric hold as a field-based assessment of torso muscular endurance for children 8 to 12 years of age. Pediatr Exerc Sci 2013;25:407-22.
[9] da Cunha FA, Farinatti Pde T, Midgley AW. Methodological and practical application issues in exercise prescription using the heart rate reserve and oxygen uptake reserve methods. J Sci Med Sport 2011;14:46-57.
[10] Huston DR, Johnson CC, Wood MA, Zhao X. Vibration attenuating characteristics of air filled seat cushions. J Sound Vib 1999;222:333-40.
[11] Pratt DJ. Mechanisms of shock attenuation via the lower extremity during running. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 1989;4:51-7.
[12] Wu S, Luo Y, Qiu X, Bao M. Building a healthy China by enhancing physical activity:priorities, challenges, and strategies. J Sport Health Sci 2017;6:125-6.
[13] Boyer ER, Rooney BD, Derrick TR. Rearfoot and midfoot or forefoot impacts in habitually shod runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014;46:1384-91.
[14] Boveris A, Navarro A. Systemic and mitochondrial adaptive responses to moderate exercise in rodents. Free Radic Biol Med 2008;44:224-9.
[15] Serdula MK, Ivery D, Coates RJ, Freedman DS, Williamson DF, Bayers T. Do obese children become obese adults? A review of the literature. Prev Med 1993;22:167-77.
[16] Grimston SK, Engsberg JR, Kloiber R, Hanley DA. Bone mass, external loads, and stress fracture in female runners. J Appl Biomech 1991;7:293-302.
[17] Stolp HB, Dziegielewska KM. Review:role of developmental inflammation and blood-brain barrier dysfunction in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol 2009;35:132-46.
[18] Chow EC, Etnier JL. Effects of music and video on perceived exertion during high-intensity exercise. J Sport Health Sci 2017;6:81-8.
[19] Askling C, Saartok T, Thorstensson A. Type of acute hamstring strain affects flexibility, strength, and time to return to pre-injury level. Br J Sports Med 2006;40:40-4.
[20] Tucker P. The physical activity levels of preschool-aged children:a systematic review. Early Child Res Q 2008;23:547-58.
[21] Weir Z, Bush J, Robson SC, McParlin C, Rankin J, Bell R. Physical activity in pregnancy:a qualitative study of the beliefs of overweight and obese pregnant women. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2010;10:18. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-10-18
[22] Henson J, Davies MJ, Bodicoat DH, Edwardson CL, Gill JMR, Stensel DJ, et al. Breaking up prolonged sitting with standing or walking attenuates the postprandial metabolic response in post-menopausal women:a randomised acute study. Diabetes Care 2016;39:130-8.
[23] Tremblay MS, Shields M, Laviolette M, Craig CL, Janssen I, Connor Gorber S. Fitness of Canadian children and youth:results from the 2007-2009 Canadian Health Measures Survey. Health Rep 2010;21:7-20.
[24] Swain DP, Leutholtz BC, King ME, Haas LA, Branch JD. Relationship between%heart rate reserve and%VO2 reserve in treadmill exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1998;30:318-21.
[25] Mörl F, Bradl I. Lumbar posture and muscular activity while sitting during office work. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2013;23:362-8.
[26] Gruber AH, Silvernail JF, Brueggemann P, Rohr E, Hamill J. Footfall patterns during barefoot running on harder and softer surfaces. Footwear Science 2013;5:39-44.
[27] Bauman AE, Reis RS, Sallis JF, Wells JC, Loos RJF, Martin BW. Correlates of physical activity:why are some people physically active and others not? The Lancet 2012;358:258-71.
[28] Cheung RT, Davis IS. Landing pattern modification to improve patellofemoral pain in runners:a case series. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2011;41:914-9.
[29] Clavel T, Desmarchelier C, Haller D, Gérard P, Rohn S, Lepage P, et al. Intestinal microbiota in metabolic diseases:from bacterial community structure and functions to species of pathophysiological relevance. Gut Microbes 2014;5:544-51.
[30] Radin EL, Ehrlich MG, Chernack R, Abernethy P, Paul IL, Rose RM. Effect of repetitive impulsive loading on the knee joints of rabbits. Clin Orthop 1978;131:288-93.
[31] Boreham C, Twisk J, Neville C, Savage M, Murray L, Gallagher A. Associations between physical fitness and activity patterns during adolescence and cardiovascular risk factors in young adulthood:the Northern Ireland Young Hearts Project. Int J Sports Med 2002;23:22-6.
[32] Lucke-Wold BP, Logsdon AF, Turner RC, Rosen CL, Huber JD. Aging, the metabolic syndrome, and ischemic stroke:redefining the approach for studying the blood-brain barrier in a complex neurological disease. Adv Pharmacol 2014;71:411-49.
[33] Askling CM, Tengvar M, Saartok T, Thorstensson A. Acute first-time hamstring strains during slow-speed stretching:clinical, magnetic resonance imaging, and recovery characteristics. Am J Sports Med 2007;35:1716-24.
[34] Tandon PS, Saelens BE, Christakis DA. Active play opportunities at child care. Pediatrics 2015;135:e1425-31.
[35] Cramp AG, Bray SR. A prospective examination of exercise and barrier self-efficacy to engage in leisure-time physical activity during pregnancy. Ann Behav Med 2009;37:325-34.
[36] Lyden K, Kozey-Keadle SL, Staudenmayer JW, Freedson PS. Validity of two wearable monitors to estimate breaks from sedentary time. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44:2243-52.
[37] Scott SN, Thompson DL, Coe DP. The ability of the PACER to elicit peak exercise response in the youth. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2013;45:1139-43.
[38] Swain DP, Leutholtz BC. Heart rate reserve is equivalent to%VO2 reserve, not to%VO2max. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1997;29:410-4.
[39] Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR, Franklin BA, Lamonte MJ, Lee IM, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults:guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-59.
[40] Miller RH, Hamill J. Optimal footfall patterns for cost minimization in running. J Biomech 2015;48:2858-64.
[41] Biddle SJH, Atkin AJ, Cavill N, Foster C. Correlates of physical activity in youth:a review of quantitative systematic reviews. Int Rev Sport Exerc Psychol 2011;4:25-49.
[42] Chen H. Participation in building international standards of physical activity and physical fitness:the first national surveillance done by the Shanghai University of Sport. Available at:http://newspaper.jfdaily.com/jfrb/html/2016-12/06/content_2323332.htm; 2016[accessed 09.03.2017..[in Chinese..
[43] Giandolini M, Horvais N, Farges Y, Samozino P, Morin JB. Impact reduction through long-term intervention in recreational runners:midfoot strike pattern versus low-drop/low-heel height footwear. Eur J Appl Physiol 2013;113:2077-90.
[44] Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, State Council of China. "Healthy China 2030" Blueprint Guide. Available at:http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/201610/25/content_5124174.htm; 2016[accessed 18.02.2017..
[45] Nicholson JK, Holmes E, Kinross J, Burcelin R, Gibson G, Jia W, et al. Host-gut microbiota metabolic interactions. Science 2012;336:1262-7.
[46] Williams DS, Davis IM, Scholz JP, Hamill J, Buchanan TS. High-arched runners exhibit increased leg stiffness compared to low-arched runners. Gait Posture 2004;19:263-9.
[47] Waters E, De Silva-Sanigorski A, Burford BJ, Brown T, Campbell KJ, Gao Y, et al. Interventions for preventing obesity in children. Pauli J Med 2014;132:128-9.
[48] Pan W, Banks WA, Kastin AJ. Permeability of the blood-brain barrier to neurotrophins. Brain Res 1998;788:87-94.
[49] Henderson G, Barnes CA, Portas MD. Factors associated with increased propensity for hamstring injury in English Premier League soccer players. J Sci Med Sport 2010;13:397-402.
[50] Pate RR, O'Neill JR, Brown WH, McIver K, Howie EK, Dowda M. Top 10 research questions related to physical activity in preschool children. Res Q Exerc Sport 2013;84:448-55.
[51] Institute of Medicine (IOM). Early childhood obesity prevention policies. Washington, DC:The National Academies Press; 2011.
[52] Evenson KR, Bradley CB. Beliefs about exercise and physical activity among pregnant women. Patient Educ Couns 2010;79:124-9.
[53] Grant PM, Ryan CG, Tigbe WW, Granat MH. The validation of a novel activity monitor in the measurement of posture and motion during everyday activities. Br J Sports Med 2006;40:992-7.
[54] Stodden DF, Goodway JD, Langendorfer SJ, Roberton MA, Rudisill ME, Garcia C, et al. A developmental perspective on the role of motor skill competence in physical activity:an emergent relationship. Quest 2008; 60:290-306.
[55] Lounana J, Campion F, Noakes TD, Medelli J. Relationship between%HRmax,%HR reserve,%VO2max, and %VO2 reserve in elite cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007;39:350-7.
[56] Ellegast RP, Kraft K, Groenesteijn L, Krause F, Berger H, Vink P. Comparison of four specific dynamic office chairs with a conventional office chair:impact upon muscle activation, physical activity and posture. Appl Ergon 2012;43:296-307.
[57] Breine B, Malcolm P, Frederick EC, De Clercq D. Relationship between running speed and initial foot contact patterns. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2014;46:1595-603.
[58] Shih Y, Lin KL, Shiang TY. Is the foot striking pattern more important than barefoot or shod conditions in running? Gait Posture 2013;38:490-4.
[59] Schloss PD, Schubert AM, Zackular JP, Iverson KD, Young VB, Petrosino JF. Stabilization of the murine gut microbiome following weaning. Gut Microbes 2012;3:383-93.
[60] Williams DS, McClay IS, Hamill J. Arch structure and injury patterns in runners. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 2001;16:341-7.
[61] Ding M, Haglid KG, Hamberger A. Quantitative immunochemistry on neuronal loss, reactive gliosis and BBB damage in cortex/striatum and hippocampus/amygdala after systemic kainic acid administration. Neurochem Int 2000;36:313-8.
[62] Yildiz Y, Karaka? S, Güne? H, Köse H. Reflection of sport awareness on body composition in students at the school of physical education and sports. Med J Trakya Univ 2009;26:249-55.
[63] Yeung SS, Suen AM, Yeung EW. A prospective cohort study of hamstring injuries in competitive sprinters:preseason muscle imbalance as a possible risk factor. Br J Sports Med 2009;43:589-94.
[64] Gordon ES, Tucker P, Burke SM, Carron AV. Effectiveness of physical activity interventions for preschoolers:a meta-analysis. Res Q Exerc Sport 2013;84:287-94.
[65] Gaston A, Wilson PM, Mack DE, Elliot S, Prapavessis H. Understanding physical activity behavior and cognitions in pregnant women:an application of self-determination theory. Psychol Sport Exerc 2013;14:405-12.
[66] Kozey-Keadle S, Libertine A, Lyden K, Staudenmayer J, Freedson PS. Validation of wearable monitors for assessing sedentary behavior. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1561-7.
[67] Bouffard M, Watkinson EJ, Thompson LP, Causgrove Dunn JL, Romanow SK. A test of the activity deficit hypothesis with children with movement difficulties. Adapt Phys Act Q 1996;13:61-73.
[68] Byrne NM, Hills A. Relationships between HR and VO2 in the obese. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2002;34:1419-27.
[69] Merritt LG, Merritt CM. The gym ball as a chair for the back pain patient:a two case report. J Can Chiropr Assoc 2007;51:50-5.
[70] Hayes P, Caplan N. Foot strike patterns and ground contact times during high-calibre middle-distance races. J Sports Sci 2012;30:1275-83.
[71] Daoud AI, Geissler GJ, Wang F, Saretsky J, Daoud YA, Lieberman DE. Foot strike and injury rates in endurance runners:a retrospective study. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44:1325-34.
[72] Spor A, Koren O, Ley R. Unravelling the effects of the environment and host genotype on the gut microbiome. Nat Rev Microbiol 2011;9:279-90.
[73] Hamill J, Gruber AH, Derrick TR. Lower extremity joint stiffness characteristics during running with different footfall patterns. Eur J Sport Sci 2014;14:130-6.
[74] Er?ahin M, Toklu HZ, Erzik C, Cetinel S, Akakin D, Velio?lu-O?ünç A, et al. The anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of ghrelin in subarachnoid hemorrhage-induced oxidative brain damage in rats. J Neurotrauma 2010;27:1143-55.
[75] Restrepo-Calle MT, Monroy de Peña A, Giraldo JP, Velásquez Echeverri MC. Effect of controlled physical activity on body composition in postmenopausal sedentary women. Rev Panam Salud Publica 2003;14:229-34.[in Spanish].
[76] Ottenheijm CA, Knottnerus AM, Buck D, Luo X, Greer K, Hoying A, et al. Tuning passive mechanics through differential splicing of titin during skeletal muscle development. Biophys J 2009;97:2277-86.
[77] Piek JP, Baynam GB, Barrett NC. The relationship between fine and gross motor ability, self-perceptions and self-worth in children and adolescents. Hum Mov Sci 2006;25:65-75.
[78] Hausenblas HA, Giacobbi P, Cook B, Rhodes R, Cruz A. Prospective examination of pregnant and nonpregnant women's physical activity beliefs and behaviours. J Reprod Infant Psychol 2011;29:308-19.
[79] Ryan CG, Grant PM, Tigbe WW, Granat MH. The validity and reliability of a novel activity monitor as a measure of walking. Br J Sports Med 2006;40:779-84.
[80] Lloyd M, Saunders TJ, Bremer E, Tremblay MS. Long-term importance of fundamental motor skills:a 20-year follow-up study. Adapt Phys Act Q 2014;31:67-78.
[81] Hiilloskorpi HK, Pasanen ME, Fogelholm MG, Laukkanen RM, Manttari AT. Use of heart rate to predict energy expenditure from low to high activity levels. Int J Sports Med 2003;24:332-6.
[82] Levine JA, Miller JM. The energy expenditure of using a "walk-and-work" desk for office workers with obesity. Br J Sports Med 2007;41:558-61.
[83] Jenkins DW, Cauthon DJ. Barefoot running claims and controversies:a review of the literature. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 2011;101:231-46.
[84] Payne AH. Foot to ground contact forces of elite runners. In:Matsui H, Kobayashi K, editors. Biomechanics VⅡ-B. Champaign, IL:Human Kinetics; 1983.p.746-53.
[85] Oakley T, Pratt DJ. Skeletal transients during heel and toe strike running and the effectiveness of some materials in their attenuation. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 1988;3:159-65.
[86] Bearson SM, Allen HK, Bearson BL, Looft T, Brunelle BW, Kich JD, et al. Profiling the gastrointestinal microbiota in response to Salmonella:low versus high Salmonella shedding in the natural porcine host. Infect Genet Evol 2013;16:330-40.
[87] Butler RJ, Crowell Ⅲ HP, Davis IM. Lower extremity stiffness:implications for performance and injury. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 2003;18:511-7.
[88] Heneka MT, Carson MJ, El Khoury J, Landreth GE, Brosseron F, Feinstein DL, et al. Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease. Lancet Neurol 2015;14:388-405.
[89] Abbott RA, Davies PSW. Habitual physical activity and physical activity intensity:their relation to body composition in 5.0-10.5-y-old children. Eur J Clin Nutr 2004;58:285-91.
[90] Gabbe BJ, Finch CF, Bennell KL, Wajswelner H. Risk factors for hamstring injuries in community level Australian football. Br J Sports Med 2005;39:106-10.
[91] Barnett LM, Morgan PJ, van Beurden E, Beard JR. Perceived competence mediates the relationship between childhood motor skill proficiency and adolescent physical activity and fitness:a longitudinal assessment. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2008;5:40. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-5-40
[92] Santos PC, Abreu S, Moreira C, Lopes D, Santos R, Alves O, et al. Impact of compliance with different guidelines on physical activity during pregnancy and perceived barriers to leisure physical activity. J Sports Sci 2014;32:1398-408.
[93] Stansfield B, Hajarnis M, Sudarshan R. Characteristics of very slow stepping in healthy adults and validity of the activPAL3TM activity monitor in detecting these steps. Med Eng Phys 2015;37:42-7.
[94] Matthews CE, Hagstromer M, Pober DM, Bowls HR. Best practices for using physical activity monitors in population-based research. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44(Suppl. 1):S68-76.
[95] Lubans DR, Morgan PJ, Cliff DP, Barnett LM, Okely AD. Fundamental movement skills in children and adolescents:review of associated health benefits. Sports Med 2010;40:1019-35.
[96] Whitehead M. Physical literacy throughout the lifecourse. London:Routledge Taylor & Francis Group; 2010.
[97] Alberton CL, Kanitz AC, Pinto SS, Antunes AH, Finatto P, Cadore EL, et al. Determining the anaerobic threshold in water aerobic exercises:a comparison between the heart rate deflection point and the ventilatory method. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2013;53:358-67.
[98] Smith MJ, Conway FT, Karsh BT. Occupational stress in human computer interaction. Ind Health 1999;37:157-73.
[1] Olgica Nedić, Miloš Šunderić, Goran Miljuš, Zoran Valdevit, Vladimir Jakovljević, Marija Glibetić, Vesna Vučić. Preparatory training attenuates drastic response of the insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 at the point of maximal oxygen consumption in handball players[J]. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2017, 6(3): 372-377.
[2] Esther Ubago-Guisado, Esmeralda Mata, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez, María Plaza-Carmona, María Martín-García, Leonor Gallardo. Influence of different sports on fat mass and lean mass in growing girls[J]. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2017, 6(2): 213-218.
[3] Charlotte L. Edwardson, Elisabeth A. H. Winkler, Danielle H. Bodicoat, Tom Yates, Melanie J. Davies, David W. Dunstan, Genevieve N. Healy. Considerations when using the activPAL monitor in field-based research with adult populations[J]. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2017, 6(2): 162-178.
[4] Youngdeok Kim, Minsoo Kang, Anna M. Tacón, James R. Morrow Jr. Longitudinal trajectories of physical activity in women using Latent class growth analysis: The WIN Study[J]. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 0, (): 0-0.
[5] 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, 0, (): 4-0.
[6] H. Sun, C. A. Vamos, S. B. Flory, R. DeBate, E. L. Thompson, J. Bleck. Correlates of long-term physical activity adherence in women[J]. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 0, (): 4-0.

Copyright © 2011 Journal of Sport and Health Science
Tel: +86-21-51253133, 51253135   Fax: +86-21-51253133   E-mail: jshs@sus.edu.cn