Walking with a four wheeled walker (rollator) significantly reduces EMG lower-limb muscle activity in healthy subjects

Zorica Suica*, Jacqueline Romkes, Amir Tal, Clare Maguire

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: To investigate the immediate effect of four-wheeled-walker(rollator) walking on lower-limb muscle activity and trunk-sway in healthy subjects. Methods: In this cross-sectional design electromyographic (EMG) data was collected in six lower-limb muscle groups and trunk-sway was measured as peak-to-peak angular displacement of the centre-of-mass (level L2/3) in the sagittal and frontal-planes using the SwayStar balance system. 19 subjects walked at self-selected speed firstly without a rollator then in randomised order 1. with rollator 2. with rollator with increased weight-bearing. Results: Rollator-walking caused statistically significant reductions in EMG activity in lower-limb muscle groups and effect-sizes were medium to large. Increased weight-bearing increased the effect. Trunk-sway in the sagittal and frontal-planes showed no statistically significant difference between conditions. Conclusion: Rollator-walking reduces lower-limb muscle activity but trunk-sway remains unchanged as stability is likely gained through forces generated by the upper-limbs. Short-term stability is gained but the long-term effect is unclear and requires investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-73
JournalJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Assistive devices
  • Rollator
  • Wheeled-walker
  • EMG
  • Trunk stability

Cite this