The present study examined knee and arm extensor muscle activation patterns displayed by 12 elderly female rheumatoid arthritic patients (mean age=65.5��8.6yr) rising from an instrumented Eser ejector chair under four conditions: high seat (540mm), low seat (450mm), with and without ejector assistance. Electromyographic (EMG) signals were sampled (1000Hz) for vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF) and triceps brachii (TB) using a Noraxon Telemyo System (bandwidth 0-340Hz). Muscle onset, offset and peak activity relative to loss of seat contact (SS), and integrated EMG, were calculated for each muscle burst before SS. A high seat significantly (p���005) decreased VL and TB intensity but did not change muscle activation patterns compared with rising from a low seat. Ejector assistance significantly increased VM and RF burst duration and RF intensity but had no effect on vastii muscle intensity. It was concluded that concerns pertaining to muscle disuse when rising with ejector assistance were unfounded in the present study. However, further research is required to investigate the effects of habitual use of a mechanical ejector device on muscle activation patterns. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd.