© 2017 IEEE. Fatigue can be defined as the muscular condition occurring before the inability to perform a task. It can be assessed through the evaluation of the median and mean frequency of the spectrum of the surface electromyography series. Previous studies investigated the relationship between heartbeat dynamics and muscular activity. However, exploitation of such cardiovascular measures to automatically identify muscle fatigue during fatiguing exercises is still missing. To this extent, HRV signals were gathered from 32 subjects during an isometric contraction task, and features defined in the time, frequency and nonlinear domains were investigated. We used surface electromyography to label the occurrence of muscle fatigue. Statistically significant differences were observed by comparing features related to fatigued subjects with the non-fatigued ones. Moreover, a pattern recognition system capable to achieve an average accuracy of 78.24% was implemented. These results confirmed the hypothesis that a relationship between heartbeat dynamics and muscle fatigue might exist.
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