The influence of mental fatigue on facial EMG activity during a simulated workday

I.J.T. Veldhuizen, A.W.K. Gaillard, J. de Vries

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    The present study investigated whether facial EMG measures are sensitive to the effects of fatigue. EMG activity of the corrugator and frontalis muscles was recorded during and after a simulated workday. Fatigue was evaluated in four ways: (a) the building up of fatigue effects during the workday, (b) the building up of fatigue during a test period, (c) examination of after-effects of the workday in two test sessions in the evening, and (d) comparison of subjects with a high-and low-score on an Emotional Exhaustion questionnaire. EMG activity decreased during the workday and increased again in the evening. EMG activity also increased during a test period, reflecting increased mobilization to maintain performance. High-score subjects showed a lower level of EMG activity throughout the entire workday. They reported a higher need for recovery, experienced the workday as more fatiguing, and were less well rested when getting up. EMG measures seem to reflect that high-score subjects have problems with investing sufficient energy to maintain performance during a workday.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-78
    JournalBiological Psychology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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