Today’s world consists of two main aspects – career and home, with both these elements and the more modern way of living posing a relatively unique challenge to the human musculoskeletal and locomotor system.
One-dimensional and single-sided activity patterns, such as driving, office work in front of a screen, meetings, and even most activities at home contribute to many hours in the day in a seated position. While this often appears to be a position of comfort and choice, multiple studies have shown that the sitting position for the human body is characterized by a very low activation of core muscles and most of the load is transmitted to passive structures of the body and leads to the degeneration of the spinal stability. This is often the cause of lower back pain, contributes to degenerative spinal diseases and further increases the risk of sports-related injuries.
A 2017 study examined the effects of an 8-week EMS (electro-muscle-stimulation) training program on posture (New York Posture Rating Chart) and core muscle strength (4 different performance tests).
While previous research findings have shown positive effects of EMS training for the improvement of maximum strength, speed and explosiveness, this study aimed to contribute to the still scarce knowledge on how whole-body EMS training affects core muscle strength and posture. Due to the potential to activate a large number of muscles that stabilize the spine and the hip simultaneously and due to the long muscle contraction time (10 minutes time under tension) it was hypothesized that a single 20-minute whole-body EMS training session per week would be sufficient to improve core muscle strength and posture.
The study found that posture and core muscle strength significantly improved after the 8-weeks EMS training. The assessment of core muscle strength consisted of a total of 4 different performance test (repetitions until failure) and the results show a highly significant performance increase of 54,5% after the EMS training.
With busy lives and the majority of 9-5 careers requiring being hunched over a desk all day, EMS training can help you better your posture and build core strength.