On 5th July, we explored how researchers use an EMG to measure the effort the intercostal muscles exert during breathing. We did four tests on an employee, Galia. The first test was when she was breathing normally with no resistance and her results were recorded on an EMG trace which we extrapolated from and recorded on a table. We carried out the other three tests using different tube lengths (representing different stages of resistance) which were attached to a mask. While collecting the results we found that one of the results did not fit the pattern. To resolve this issue we should have repeated the experiment at least three times. We tried out the equipment on ourselves and found how different factors affected the EMG trace e.g. your posture and slight movements can cause your intercostal muscles to work harder therefore the peaks on the EMG trace are taller. We learnt that testing on children is hard work as they cannot stay still for a long period of time so you need to use certain tactics like putting on Peppa Pig to keep them entertained. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience and learnt valuable knowledge.
Trinecia Compton, Year 12, Burntwood Academy