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Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training on Abdominal Fat, Trunk Muscle Thickness and Activity in Middle-Aged Women with Abdominal Obesity
J Korean Soc Phys Med 2019;14(2):125-135
Published online May 31, 2019;
© 2019 Journal of The Korean Society of Physical Medicine.

Seung-Ah Yoo, PT, MSc · Kee-Ung Yoo1 · Chang-Ha Lim1 · Chang-Yong Kim, PT, PhD2 · Hyeong-Dong Kim, PT, PhD3†

Department of Health Science, Graduate School, Korea University,
1Department of Kinesiology, Graduate School, Korea University,
2Scientific Instruments Reliability Assessment Center, Korea Basic Science Institute,
3Department of Physical Therapy and School of Health and Environmental Science, College of Health Science, Korea University
Received February 27, 2019; Revised February 27, 2019; Accepted April 2, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
PURPOSE: This study examined the effects of low frequency neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) training on abdominal obesity in middle-aged women through electromyography and ultrasound.
METHODS: Twenty-two middle aged women with abdominal obesity participated in the study. A low-frequency NMES device was used on the abdomen and waist of each subject for 20 minutes each (a total of 40 minutes) three times a week for eight weeks. The waist-hip ratio (WHR), weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) were measured. Electromyography (EMG) and ultrasound measurements were performed three times in total (pre-intervention, four weeks into the intervention, and eight weeks post-intervention) to examine the effects of low-frequency NMES on the abdominal muscle activity, muscle thickness, and subcutaneous fat.
RESULTS: The results indicated a difference in the WHR and waist circumference before and after intervention (p<.05). The external oblique muscle (EO) showed a significant increase in muscle activity during all measurements taken post-intervention (p<.05). The abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness also showed a significant decrease between each measurement (p<.05). The test results showed that the abdominal subcutaneous fat thickness values taken eight weeks post-intervention were significantly lower than those taken pre-intervention and four weeks into the intervention (p<.05).
CONCLUSION: These findings show that low-frequency NMES device training can be applied to middle-aged women with abdominal obesity to improve their body shape and exercise performance.
Keywords : Abdominal obesity, Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), Fat, Thickness, Women

May 2019, 14 (2)
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