Erlangen-Nuremberg University (2009)

Influence of adjuvant EMS training on body composition and cardiac risk factors in older men with metabolic syndrome

Aim of study
Sarcopenia and (abdominal) adiposity are closely associated with mortality, multi-morbidity and frailty in older people. The aim of this study was to determine to what extent whole body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training can influence body composition and cardiac risk factors in older men with metabolic syndrome.

At a high effect size (ES: d'=1,33), the change in the abdominal fat mass shows significant differences (p = 0.004) between WB-EMS and CG (-252 ±196 g, p = 0.001 vs. -34±103 g, p = 0. 330). Parallel to this, whole body fat diminished by -1350± 876 g (p = 0.001) in the WB-EMS group and -291+-850 g (p = 0.307) in the CG (difference: p = 0.008, ES: d'= 1.23). The ASMM also showed significant differences (p = 0.024, ES: d'= 0.97) between the EMS group and vibration control group (249±444 g, p = 0.066 vs. -298±638 g, p=.173). With the exception of a significant inter-group difference (p = 0.023, ES: d' = 1.10) for the waist circumference (EMS: -5.2± 1.8 cm, p = 0.001 vs. CG: -3.3±2.9 cm, p = 0.006), no further effects on the parameters of the metabolic syndrome (see above) were shown.

At a low training volume (about 45 minutes/week) and a short period of intervention (14 weeks), whole body EMS training exhibits significant effects on the body composition of older persons. Thus WB-EMS could be an appropriate alternative to conventional training programs for people with low cardiac and orthopaedic capacity.