Self-perceived exertion level and objective evaluation of neuromuscular fatigue in a training session of orchestral violin players

Rachel F.M. Chan, Chi Ying Chow, Glory P.S. Lee, Lai Kam To, Xeni Y.S. Tsang, Simon S. Yeung, Wai Ella Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to investigate the self-perceived exertion level and an objective measurement of muscle fatigue on violin players before and after a training session. Fourteen professional violin players volunteered in this study. Surveillance study was used to investigate the demographic characteristics, instrument playing background, playing habits variables and factors associated with playing-related musculoskeletal complaints (PRMCs). The subjective rating of the training-induced exertion was evaluated by the Borg scale ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Surface electromyography (EMG) was used to record the fatigue level of the upper trapezius muscles before and after a training session. Medium frequency (MF) of the EMG signals was used to document the fatigue rate of this muscle. Descriptive statistics revealed a 79% prevalence rate of PRMCs with neck and shoulder region accounting for 57.1% of the areas reported. On the self-perceived exertion level associated with the training session, results indicated a significant increase in fatigue level (p=0.003) after the training session. Regression analysis and paired samples t-tests revealed no significant difference in the slopes of MF on both sides of trapezius muscle, before and after the training sessions. The disparity in the subjective perception with the objective findings indicated that the violinists' self-perceived exertion arises from multiple sources. The high prevalence of PRMCs in this profession warrants further ergonomic investigation of possible work-related risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-341
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2000


  • Electromyography
  • Musician
  • Perceived exertion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Self-perceived exertion level and objective evaluation of neuromuscular fatigue in a training session of orchestral violin players'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this