The effect of a lightweight massage system in a car seat on comfort and electromyogram

Matthias Franz, Raphael Zenk, Peter Vink, Susan Hallbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a lightweight low-intensity massage system (LWMAS) in a car seat on the electromyogram (EMG) of the neck and shoulder muscles and on the comfort experience during driving. Methods: Two experiments were performed during driving with and without the active LWMAS in the seat. Subjective measurements were taken, in which the comfort experience was recorded for 20 participants driving a prescribed path around Munich for 120 minutes. Then objective (surface EMG above the rhomboideus and trapezius muscles) measurements and subjective measurements of the comfort experience were recorded over 7 laps on a test track for 24 participants. Results: The comfort was higher, and the EMG was significantly lower in the trapezius area while driving with the LWMAS. Conclusion: Despite the fact that the LWMAS system is lightweight, has low intensity, and might have had a smaller effect, similar effects to previous studies with heavier systems were found, indicating that this massage system increases comfort and reduces muscle activity during driving as well.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Automobiles
  • Electromyography
  • Neck
  • Pain
  • Shoulder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chiropractics


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