Title: Gender-related differences in ankle-muscles recruitment during walking

Authors: Francesco Di Nardo; Alessandro Mengarelli; Elvira Maranesi; Laura Burattini; Sandro Fioretti

Addresses: Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy; Posture and Movement Analysis Laboratory, Italian National Institute of Health and Science on Aging (INRCA), 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy ' Department of Information Engineering, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Via Brecce Bianche, 60131 Ancona, Italy

Abstract: Surface electromyographic (sEMG) signal is commonly used as main input information to control robotic prosthetic systems. sEMG signals vary from person to person; gender is a factor influencing this variation. Thus, the aim of the study is to detect gender-related differences in sEMG activity of two main ankle-flexor muscles [tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius lateralis (GL)] during walking at comfortable speed and cadence. Statistical analysis of sEMG signals, performed in seven male (M-group) and seven female (F-group) adults, showed clear gender-related differences in muscle behaviour. The assessment of the different activation modalities, indeed, allowed to detect that F-group adopts a walking modality with a higher number of activations during gait cycle, compared to M-group. This suggests a female propensity for a more complex muscle recruitment, during walking. This novel information suggests considering a separate approach for males and females, in providing electromyographic signals as input information to control robotic systems.

Keywords: surface EMG; statistical gait analysis; gender; ankle motion; shank muscles; tibialis anterior; gastrocnemius lateralis; walking; gait cycle; modalities of muscle activation; myoelectric activity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBBR.2020.108447

International Journal of Biomechatronics and Biomedical Robotics, 2020 Vol.3 No.4, pp.197 - 206

Accepted: 12 Feb 2018
Published online: 06 Jul 2020 *

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