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Calculation of Mechanical Work and Power

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  • Calculation of Mechanical Work and Power

    Biomech-L subscribers,

    I have a question about the mathematical calculation of mechanical work
    and power during resistance exercise.

    We have a set-up that involves using a force platform to measure force
    and a linear position transducer to measure displacement. All data are
    sampled at 500Hz.

    >From the vertical force data and the displacement data, we'd like to
    calculate mechanical work and power of the movement of the centre of
    mass. The question is which approach to use:

    1. Differentiate displacement wrt time to obtain velocity. Multiply
    force and velocity channels to obtain power. Integrate power wrt time
    to obtain work. Winter (1990) suggests this integration method to
    calculate work.


    2. Multiply force and displacement channels to obtain work.
    Differentiate work wrt time to obtain power.

    I've calculated work and power using both approaches and overlayed the
    respective curves (work-time(1) vs. work-time (2), etc.) and they do
    not replicate each other, indicating that the two approaches have
    different results.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Loren Chiu
    Graduate Assistant
    Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory
    Human Performance Laboratories
    The University of Memphis

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