Does heel height cause imbalance during sit-to-stand task: surface EMG perspective

Ganesh R. Naik, Ahmed Al-Ani, Massimiliano Gobbo, Hung T. Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine whether electromyography (EMG) muscle activities around the knee differ during sit-to-stand (STS) and returning task for females wearing shoes with different heel heights. Sixteen healthy young women (age = 25.2 ± 3.9 years, body mass index = 20.8 ± 2.7 kg/m2 ) participated in this study. Electromyography signals were recorded from the two muscles, vastus medialis (VM) and vastus lateralis (VL) that involve in the extension of knee. The participants wore shoes with five different heights, including 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 cm. Surface electromyography (sEMG) data were acquired during STS and stand-to-sit-returning (STSR) tasks. The data was filtered using a fourth order Butterworth (band pass) filter of 20–450 Hz frequency range. For each heel height, we extracted median frequency (MDF) and root mean square (RMS) features to measure sEMG activities between VM and VL muscles. The experimental results (based on MDF and RMS-values) indicated that there is imbalance between vasti muscles for more elevated heels. The results are also quantified with statistical measures. The study findings suggest that there would be an increased likelihood of knee imbalance and fatigue with regular usage of high heel shoes (HHS) in women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number626
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • High heel shoes
  • Imbalance
  • Sit-to-stand
  • Surface electromyography
  • Vastus lateralis
  • Vastus medialis


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