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Adv Exp Med Biol. 1995;384:361-80.

Task-dependent factors in fatigue of human voluntary contractions.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


This chapter explores the hypothesis that fatigue is not caused uniquely by any common set of factors, but rather that the amount of stress placed on each site depends on the type of exercise from which fatigue develops. Evidence supporting this idea is presented by comparing results from various studies in which fatigue was caused by different exercise protocols. However, the way in which human endurance capacity changes with the type or intensity of the task performed suggest a unitary process. Thus, perhaps the neuromuscular system as a whole is so well adjusted that any task-related additional impairment at one site is compensated by corresponding functional improvements at others. We suggest that nature has had a long time in which to "get it right".

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