Study on an Electrode Attachment Method Suitable for Underwater Electromyography Measurements

Han, Seul-ki;Park, Jung-seo;Nam, Taek-gil

  • Received : 2015.05.08
  • Accepted : 2015.05.27
  • Published : 2015.05.31


PURPOSE: This study was conducted to devise a method of preventing water infiltration into the surface electrodes during EMG measurements underwater and on the ground and to check the reliability of Electromyography (EMG) measurements when underwater. METHODS: Six healthy adults were selected as subjects in this study. The measurements in this study were conducted in pool dedicated to underwater exercise and physical therapy room in the hospital building. An MP150 (Biopac Systems, US, 2010) and a BioNomadix 2-channel wireless EMG transmitter (Biopac Systems, US, 2012) was used to examine the muscle activity of rectus femoris, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior, gastrocnemius of dominant side. The subjects repeated circulation tasks on the ground for more than 10 min for enough surface electrode attachment movement. After a 15-min break, subjects performed the circulation task underwater(water depth 1.1m, water temperature $33.5^{\circ}C$, air temperature $27^{\circ}C$), as on the ground, for more than 10 min, and the MVIC of each muscle was measured again. SPSS v20.0 was used for all statistical computations. RESULTS: The maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) values between the underwater and on the ground measurements showed no significant differences in all four muscles and showed a high intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) of >0.80. CONCLUSION: We determined that EMG measurements obtained underwater could be used with high reliability, comparable to ground measurements.




  1. Barela AM, Stolf SF, Duarte M. Biomechanical characteristics of adults walking in shallow water and on land. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2006;16(3):250-6.
  2. Carvalho RG, Amorim CF, Peracio LH, et al. Analysis of various conditions in order to measure electromyography of isometric contractions in water and on air. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2010;20(5):988-93.
  3. Clarys JP. Hydrodynamics and electromyography: ergonomics aspects in aquatics. Appl Ergon. 1985;16(1):11-24.
  4. Jung T, Lee D, Charalambous C, et al. The influence of applying additional weight to the affected leg on gait patterns during aquatic treadmill walking in people poststroke. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2010;91(1):129-36.
  5. Kim TY, Kim GY, Johan L. Hydrotherapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis. J Kor Phys Ther. 2000;12(3):407-14.
  6. Masumoto K, Shono T, Hotta N, et al. Muscle activation, cardiorespiratory response, and rating of perceived exertion in older subjects while walking in water and on dry land. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2008;18(4):581-90.
  7. Masumoto K, Shono T, Takasugi S, et al. Age-related differences in muscle activity, stride frequency and heart rate response during walking in water. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2007;17(5):596-604.
  8. Masumoto K, Mercer JA. Biomechanics of human locomotion in water: an electomyographic analysis. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2008;36(3):160-9.
  9. Pöyhönen T, Keskinen KL, Hautala A, et al. Human isometric force production and electromyogram activity of knee extensor muscles in water and on dry land. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1999;80(1):52-6.
  10. Rainoldi A, Cescon C, Bottin A, et al. Surface EMG alterations induced by underwater recording. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2004;14(3):325-31.
  11. Silvers WM, Dolny DG: Comparison and reproducibility of sEMG during manual muscle testing on land and in water. J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2011;21(1):95-101.