Muscle synergies underlying sit-to-stand tasks in elderly people and their relationship with kinetic characteristics

Hiroki Hanawa, Keisuke Kubota, Takanori Kokubun, Tatsuya Marumo, Fumihiko Hoshi, Akira Kobayashi, Naohiko Kanemura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Background Physiological evidence suggests that the nervous system controls motion by using a low-dimensional synergy organization for muscle activation. Because the muscle activation produces joint torques, kinetic changes accompanying aging can be related to changes in muscle synergies. Objectives We explored the effects of aging on muscle synergies underlying sit-to-stand tasks, and examined their relationships with kinetic characteristics. Methods Four younger and three older adults performed the sit-to-stand task at two speeds. Subsequently, we extracted the muscle synergies used to perform these tasks. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to classify these synergies. We also calculated kinetic variables to compare the groups. Results Three independent muscle synergies generally appeared in each subject. The spatial structure of these synergies was similar across age groups. The change in motion speed affected only the temporal structure of these synergies. However, subject-specific muscle synergies and kinetic variables existed. Conclusions Our results suggest common muscle synergies underlying the sit-to-stand task in both young and elderly adults. People may actively change only the temporal structure of each muscle synergy. The precise subject-specific structuring of each muscle synergy may incorporate knowledge of the musculoskeletal kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec


  • Aging
  • Muscle synergy
  • Sit-to-stand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Muscle synergies underlying sit-to-stand tasks in elderly people and their relationship with kinetic characteristics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this