Evaluating the protective effects of electrical muscle stimulation with and without blood flow restriction during periods of short-term inactivity

Physical inactivity is associated with impaired removal of sugar from the blood after a meal, or insulin-resistance and a reduced muscle mass and fitness. While exercise is well-established to prevent these impairments, it may not be feasible in some clinical conditions. Therefore, passive interventions that mimick the stressors and elicit the benefits of exercise may be required. Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) and tourniquet induced blood flow restriction (BFR) can prevent muscle loss during inactivity. It remains unknown if differences exist between EMS with and without BFR to prevent muscle loss. Whether these passive interventions can prevent insulin-resistance or decreased fitness during inactivity remains unknown. We will critically evaluate if BFR can increase the effectiveness of EMS in preventing the negative consequences of decreased physical activity. This work will support evidence based recommendations for the use of our partner’s product, the optimization of automated programs, and could springboard new features/prototypes.

Chris Pignanelli
Faculty Supervisor: 
Jamie Burr
Partner University: