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Variations in Patterns of Muscle Activity Observed in Participants Walking in Everyday Environments: Effect of Different Surfaces

Abstract : Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine variations in lower limb surface electromyography (EMG) activity when individuals walked on different outdoor surfaces and to characterize the different potential motor strategies. Method: Forty healthy adult participants walked at a self-selected speed over asphalt, grass, and pavement. They then walked on an indoor treadmill at the same gait speed as observed for each outdoor condition. The EMG activity of the vastus lateralis (VL), tibialis anterior (TA), biceps femoris (BF), and gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) muscles was recorded, and the duration and intensity (root mean square) of EMG burst activity was calculated. Results: Walking on grass resulted in a longer TA burst duration than walking on other outdoor surfaces. Walking on pavement was associated with increased intensity of TA and VL activation compared with the indoor treadmill condition. The variability of EMG intensity for all muscle groups tested (TA, GL, BF, VL) was greatest on grass and lowest on asphalt. Conclusions: The muscle activity patterns of healthy adult participants vary in response to the different qualities of outdoor walking surfaces. Ongoing development of ambulatory EMG methods will be required to support gait retraining programmes that are tailored to the environment.
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https://hal-uphf.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03462815
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 9:47:28 AM
Last modification on : Friday, December 3, 2021 - 3:47:55 AM

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Julien Lebleu, Ross Parry, Camille Bertouille, Marine de Schaetzen, Philippe Mahaudens, et al.. Variations in Patterns of Muscle Activity Observed in Participants Walking in Everyday Environments: Effect of Different Surfaces. Physiotherapy Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2020, 73 (3), pp.268-275. ⟨10.3138/ptc-2019-0097⟩. ⟨hal-03462815⟩

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