Measurement of EMG activity with textile electrodes embedded into clothing

Physiol Meas. 2007 Nov;28(11):1405-19. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/28/11/007. Epub 2007 Oct 12.


Novel textile electrodes that can be embedded into sports clothing to measure averaged rectified electromyography (EMG) have been developed for easy use in field tests and in clinical settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the validity, reliability and feasibility of this new product to measure averaged rectified EMG. The validity was tested by comparing the signals from bipolar textile electrodes (42 cm(2)) and traditional bipolar surface electrodes (1.32 cm(2)) during bilateral isometric knee extension exercise with two electrode locations (A: both electrodes located in the same place, B: traditional electrodes placed on the individual muscles according to SENIAM, n=10 persons for each). Within-session repeatability (the coefficient of variation CV%, n=10) was calculated from five repetitions of 60% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). The day-to-day repeatability (n=8) was assessed by measuring three different isometric force levels on five consecutive days. The feasibility of the textile electrodes in field conditions was assessed during a maximal treadmill test (n=28). Bland-Altman plots showed a good agreement within 2SD between the textile and traditional electrodes, demonstrating that the textile electrodes provide similar information on the EMG signal amplitude to the traditional electrodes. The within-session CV ranged from 13% to 21% in both the textile and traditional electrodes. The day-to-day CV was smaller, ranging from 4% to 11% for the textile electrodes. A similar relationship (r(2)=0.5) was found between muscle strength and the EMG of traditional and textile electrodes. The feasibility study showed that the textile electrode technique can potentially make EMG measurements very easy in field conditions. This study indicates that textile electrodes embedded into shorts is a valid and feasible method for assessing the average rectified value of EMG.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Clothing*
  • Electrodes*
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sports Medicine
  • Textiles*
  • Torque
  • Transducers / trends