Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
SANTOS, FM; RODRIGUES, RGS and TRINDADE-FILHO, EM. Physical exercise versus exercise program using electrical stimulation devices for home use. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.1, pp. 117-122. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102008000100015.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of electrical muscle stimulation with devices for home use on neuromuscular conditioning. METHODS: The study sample comprised 20 sedentary, right-handed, voluntary women aged from 18 to 25 years in the city of Maceió, Northeastern Brazil, in 2006. Subjects were randomly divided into two groups: group A included women who underwent muscle stimulation using commercial electrical devices; group B included those women who performed physical activities with loads. The training program for both groups consisted of two weekly sessions for two months, in a total of 16 sessions. Comparisons of body weight, cirtometry, fleximetry, and muscle strength before and after exercise were determined using the paired t-test. For the comparisons between both groups, Student's t-test was used and a 5% significance level was adopted. RESULTS: Muscle strength subjectively assessed before and after each intervention was increased in both groups. Significant increases in muscle mass and strength were seen only in those subjects who performed voluntary physical activity. Resisted knee flexion and extension exercises effectively increased muscle mass and strength when compared to electrical stimulation at 87 Hz which did not produce a similar effect. CONCLUSIONS: The study results showed that electrical stimulation devices for passive physical exercising commercially available are less effective than voluntary physical exercise.
Keywords : Exertion [physiology]; Muscle strength; Electric stimulation; Motion therapy, continuous passive.