Differences in muscular activity between obese and non-obese workers during manual lifting
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The prevalence of obesity is increasing throughout the workforce. Manual lifting tasks are common and can produce significant muscle loading. This study compared muscular activity between obese and non-obese subjects, using surface Electromyography (EMG), during manual lifting. Six different lifting tasks (with 5, 10 and 15 kg loads in free and constrained styles) were performed by 14 participants with different obesity levels. EMG data normalization was based on the percentage of Maximum Contraction during each Task (MCT). Muscle Activation Times (AT) before each task were also evaluated. The study suggests that obesity can increase MCT and delay muscle AT. These findings reinforce the need to develop further studies focused on obesity as a risk factor for the development of musculoskeletal disorders.
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