Examining the low, high and range measures of muscle activity amplitudes in symptomatic and asymptomatic computer users performing typing and mousing tasks
The reliability of normalized EMGrms (root mean square value of the electromyographic signal) measurements from musculus trapezius were evaluated in a field study. The reproducibility and stability of the method as well as the reproducibility of the results for nine variables were examined. The variables were: static, median and peak values of the ADF (amplitude distribution function) and the total time and number of periods when the muscle's load was below 1, 2 and 5% of MVC (maximum voluntary contraction). Twelve data operators, performing entry work, were measured twice with an interval of a week. Coefficients of repeatability were calculated. The coefficient of repeatability for 5 of the variables showed that 95% of the differences between measurements 1 and 2 for each subject were less than two standard deviations from the group mean. The same was true for the other four variables if the result of one of the twelve measurements was removed. The agreement index, twice the standard deviation of the difference between the two measurements divided by the mean of the two measurements was low only for the static value of the ADF and the number of periods below 5% MVC. Six data operators performing entry work were examined six times at weekly intervals. The stability ratio SDmm/SDv was less than 1 for all variables except for time and number of periods when the muscle's load was below 5% MVC. SDmm is the standard deviation of the difference between minimum and maximum value for each of the subjects for the six measurements. SDv is the average of the standard deviations of the six measurements at each visit. Two groups, each consisting of 24 VDU operators doing similar work were compared using the results from one EMG measurement on the trapezius. No significant differences were found between the groups for any of the nine variables (0.07 < p < 0.87).