Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of drive-assisting system in a shower carrier on the upper body muscle activities of caregivers through drivability tests. Background: In care facilities, one of the major ADL (Activities of Daily Living) factors is bathing/showering. Recently, bath/shower-assisting equipment is actively being introduced in care facilities to reduce caregivers` muscle burden. In particular, it is desirable to utilize a shower carrier equipped with drive-assisting system to effectively care for the elderly. However, there were few systematic studies on the relationship between muscle activities and drive-assisting speeds. Method: For the drivability tests to study the effects on the muscle activities according to the drive-assisting speeds(corresponding drive-voltages: 0.0V, 2.0V, 2.1V, 2.3V), 6 females in their 40s(
) were selected. To measure muscle activities of caregivers through drivability tests, 7 muscles in the upper body(TM/Trapezius Muscle, DM/Deltoid Muscle, BBM/Biceps Brachii Muscle, TBM/Triceps Brachii Muscle, ECRLM/Extensor Carpi Radialis Longus Muscle, FCUM/Flexor Carpi Ulnaris Muscle, and ESM/Erector Spinae Muscle) were selected. Results: In the TM, muscle activities were decreased as 21% compared to 0.0V, when drive-voltage 2.0V was applied, as 57% by 2.1V, and 62% by 2.3V(p<0.05), whereas 40%, 56%, and 69% of muscles activities were decreased respectively from the DM(p<0.05). Also, from the UL(BBM+TBM+ECRLM+FCUM), muscle activities were decreased by 17% with 2.0V as against 0.0V, by 47% with 2.1V, and 52% with 2.3V, whereas decreases in muscle activities from the ESM were found by 20%, 34%, and 42% respectively by 2.0V, 2.1V, and 2.3V(p<0.05). Conclusion: The muscle activities were decreased in the order of the DM, TM, ESM, and UL. As muscle activities were remarkably reduced as drive voltage were increased, it was expected to reduce the upper body muscle burden on the caregivers when using shower carriers equipped with driving-assist system. Applications: The results from this study can be applied for the development of a shower carrier including other equipment to possibly reduce the muscle burden of the caregivers.