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ORIGINAL PAPER
 
CC BY-NC 3.0 Polska
 
 

Energy expenditure for massage therapists during performing selected classical massage techniques

Magdalena Więcek 1  ,  
Jerzy Cempla 1,  
 
1
University of Physical Education in Krakow, Kraków, Poland (Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry)
2
University of Physical Education in Krakow, Kraków, Poland (Faculty of Motor Rehabilitation, Department of Clinical Rehabilitation)
3
University of Physical Education in Krakow, Kraków, Poland (Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Department of Sports Medicine and Human Nutrition)
4
Higher Integrated School of Therapeutic Massage in Krakow, Kraków, Poland
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Objectives: The aim of the study is to evaluate the intensity of the effort and energy expenditure in the course of performing selected classical massage techniques and to assess the workload of a massage therapist during a work shift. Material and Methods: Thirteen massage therapists (age: 21.9±1.9 years old, body mass index: 24.5±2.8 kg×m–2, maximal oxygen consumption × body mass–1 (VO2 max×BM–1): 42.3±7 ml×kg–1×min–1) were involved in the study. The stress test consisted in performing selected classical massage techniques in the following order: stroking, kneading, shaking, beating, rubbing and direct vibration, during which the cardio-respiratory responses and the subjective rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed. Intensity of exercise during each massage technique was expressed as % VO2 max, % maximal heart rate (HRmax) and % heart rate reserve (HRR). During each massage technique, net energy expenditure (EE) and energy cost of work using metabolic equivalent of task (MET) were determined. Results: The intensity of exercise was 47.2±6.2% as expressed in terms of % VO2 max, and 74.7±3.2% as expressed in terms of % HRmax, while it was 47.8±1.7% on average when expressed in terms of % HRR during the whole procedure. While performing the classical massage, the average EE and MET were 5.6±0.9 kcal×min–1 and 5.6±0.2, respectively. The average RPE calculated for the entire procedure was 12.1±1.4. During the performance of a classical massage technique for a single treatment during the study, the average total EE was 176.5±29.6 kcal, resulting in an energy expenditure of 336.2±56.4 kcal×h–1. In the case of the classical massage technique, rubbing was the highest intensity exercise for the masseur who performed the massage (%VO2 max = 57.4±13.1%, HRmax = 79.6±7.7%, HRR = 58.5±13.1%, MET = 6.7±1.1, EE = 7.1±1.4 kcal×min–1, RPE = 13.4±1.3). Conclusions: In the objective assessment, physical exercise while performing a single classical massage is characterized by hard work. The technique of classical massage during which the masseur performs the highest exercise intensity is rubbing. According to the classification of work intensity based on energy expenditure, the masseur’s work is considered heavy during the whole work shift.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Magdalena Więcek   
University of Physical Education in Krakow, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Al. Jana Pawła II 78, 31-571 Kraków, Poland
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087