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  • Author or Editor: Na-Yeon Yoo x
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Green care activities are associated with lower intensity and a lower risk of injury than agricultural activities aimed at producing agricultural and livestock products; however, the risk of health problems cannot be completely ruled out. To implement green care interventions to improve physical health, it is essential to identify the green care activity levels and biomechanical characteristics of the movements that are appropriate for each subject’s physical functions and goals. Thus, this study was conducted to determine the muscle activation of the upper and lower limbs during 19 green care farming activities. We used electromyography signals, which are biomedical signals that measure the action potentials generated in the muscles and nervous system when the muscles contract, to evaluate the muscle activation. Twenty adults (aged 29.9 ± 9.6 years) participated in this study. Participants performed 19 green care farming activities, including horticultural activity, animal-mediated, and off-farming activities. The participants performed each activity three times. The electromyography data were assessed using surface electromyography during activities to measure muscle activation. As a result, 16 upper and lower limb muscles were activated during the green care farming activities, which showed significantly different muscle activation by care farming activity. As a result of the comparison of muscle activity according to each muscle, many of the muscles of the upper and lower limbs were most activated during organizing a garden plot, transplanting plants, and collecting natural objects. In conclusion, the electromyography data obtained during this study suggest that green care farming interventions may be effective for training specific muscles of the upper and lower limbs.

Open Access

We aimed to determine the energy expenditure, oxygen uptake, and exercise intensity of 10 care farming activities performed by adults. The study had a crossover experimental design. Participants performed 10 care farming activities for 5 minutes, including four plant- and three animal-mediated activities, and three other activities. Each participant wore a portable telemetric calorimeter during the activities, and oxygen uptake, heart rate, and exercise intensity were measured. Twenty-one adults (aged 31.5 ± 10.2 years) participated in our study. Energy expenditure, oxygen uptake, and exercise intensity differed significantly for each activity. The 10 care farming activities were regarded as light- to moderate-intensity activities. The exercise intensity, energy expenditure, and oxygen uptake for organizing a garden plot were significantly higher than those for other care farming activities. Cooking using harvests, interacting with dogs, and feeding rabbits had the lowest exercise intensity, energy expenditure, and oxygen uptake. Other activities, such as transplanting plants, harvesting, creating art, maintaining a garden, walking with a dog, and cleaning the farm, had moderate exercise intensity, energy expenditure, and oxygen uptake. Energy expenditure, oxygen uptake, and exercise intensity data could be useful when developing a care farming program suitable for the physical condition of participants in care farming interventions.

Open Access