EFFECTS OF TEXTING ON MUSCLE ACTIVATION WHILE MAINTAINING WALKING VELOCITY
Texting and walking is an everyday task that is performed by a variety of individuals. It's believed that one experiences increased instability while texting which would cause a greater amount of coactivation within the stabilizing muscles. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether there would be an increase in muscle activation due to instability while being cognitively distracted while walking at a fixed velocity. METHODS: Twenty-two college aged students took part in 3 different walking trials. The trials consisted of walking on a treadmill at a self-determined pace at which they would also text and play Sudoku. Average and peak EMG activity were measured for the tibialis anterior (TA), the peroneus longus (PL), the lateral gastrocnemius (LG), and the soleus (SOL). Each trial lasted 2 minutes, however data was only collected for the last 30 seconds of each trial. All EMG values were normalized to the walking trial for comparison of means. RESULTS: A significant difference in the mean muscle activation was found in the LG with a decrease in muscle activation seen in the walking trial vs the game trial (-9.04 ± 3.3%, p=0.042). No significant difference in means was found in the LG when comparing walking to texting (-7.27±3.2%, p=0.102). The TA did not have any difference in mean EMG activation between the walking and texting trial (5.26±5.3%, p=1.00), or the walking and game trial (4.99±5.3%, p=1.00). The PL did not have any significant difference in mean EMG activation between the walking and texting trial (1.43±,5% p=1.00), or the walking and game trial (0.25±4.4%, p=1.00). The SOL also did not have a significant difference in mean between walking and texting (7.77±8.1%, p=1.00) or the walking trial and the game trial (6.48±6.3%, p=0.981). Although peak EMG was also analyzed during these trials, no significant differences were found, and, therefore, only mean EMG values are presented. CONCLUSION: While no significant differences were found between conditions for the TA, SOL, or PL, there was a significant difference found in the LG. It is possible this difference occurred due to the functional difference of the LG, a biarticular muscle, rather than the other three observed muscles, which are all uniarticular muscles.
Sherman, P.; Wolfram, E.; Fiscus, C.; Sessier, M.; and Higginson, B.
"EFFECTS OF TEXTING ON MUSCLE ACTIVATION WHILE MAINTAINING WALKING VELOCITY,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 8:
5, Article 31.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol8/iss5/31