View Full Version : Energy consumtion in static exercise

06-09-1996, 11:51 PM
Dear biomech subscribers,
For some time I have been looking at literature on the energy
consumption in static force production in humans.
It is well known from the work of AV Hill onwards that a muscle
needs energy, not only to do mechanical work, but also for isometric
force production. (It is rather evident from daily experience as
As the world is full of undergraduates measuring VO2 in running
cycling etcetera, I would thus expect that there would be a wealth of
data on human subjects, doing isometric contractions while their VO2
is being measured. I could not find anything of this kind up to now.
The only reference to this problem I found thus far was a remark
by McNeill Alexander in his book "Exploring Biomechanics" (Scientific
American Library, 1992):
"I explained .. that not only do muscles use metabolic energy
whenever they do work, but they also use energy whenever they exert
forces without shortening. I did not explain properly how the
metabolic energy that is needed for particular activities is used:
the reason is that neither I nor (I think) anyone else understands it
This quote should not keep you from buying his splendid book, but on
this subject it did not help me much further.
Before I am to delve into back volumes of Arbeitsphysiologie
(1928 - ..), is there somebody who can give a reference?
Thanks in advance to any hint,

At Hof
Department of Medical Physiology
University of Groningen
Bloemsingel 10
The Netherlands
Phone: (31) 50 3632645
Fax: (31) 50 3632751