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Type: Journal article
Title: Long-term activity in upper and lower-limb muscles of humans
Author: Kern, D.
Semmler, J.
Enoka, R.
Citation: Journal of Applied Physiology, 2001; 91(5):2224-2232
Publisher: Amer Physiological Soc
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 8750-7587
Statement of
Drew S. Kern, John G. Semmler, and Roger M. Enoka
Abstract: Despite limited data on humans, previous studies suggest that there is an association between the duration of daily muscle activity and the proportion of type I muscle fibers. We quantified the activity of limb muscles in healthy men and women during normal use and compared these measurements with published reports on fiber-type proportions. Seven men (age range = 21-28 yr) and seven women (age range = 18-26 yr) participated in two 10-h recording sessions. Electromyogram (EMG) activity of four muscles in nondominant upper (first dorsal interosseus and biceps brachii) and lower limbs (vastus medialis and vastus lateralis) was recorded with surface electrodes. Hand and arm muscles were active for 18% of the recording time, whereas leg muscles were active for only 10% of the recording time. On average, upper-limb muscles were activated 67% more often than lower-limb muscles. When lower-limb muscles were activated, however, the mean amplitude of each burst was greater in leg muscles [18 and 17% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC)] compared with hand (8% MVC) and arm (6% MVC) muscles. Temporal association in activity between pairs of muscles was high for the two lower-limb muscles (r2 = 0.7) and relatively weak for the two upper-limb muscles (r2 = 0.09). Long-term muscle activity was only different between men and women for the biceps brachii muscle. We found no relation between duration of muscle activity in 10-h recordings and the reported values of type I fibers in men and women.
Keywords: electromyography; activities of daily living; sex; arm muscles; leg muscles
Description: Copyright © 2005 by the American Physiological Society
RMID: 0020071692
DOI: 10.1152/jappl.2001.91.5.2224
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Appears in Collections:Molecular and Biomedical Science publications

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