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Metabolic, Cardiovascular, And Respiratory Factors In The Development Of Fatigue In Lifting Tasks

J. S. Petrofsky, A. R. Lind

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Three well-trained male subjects served as volunteers in these experiments to examine the physiological capacity for extended work during lifting tasks. The maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) during lifting was always lower than work on the bicycle ergometer. However, the work load during lifting which could be maintained for 1--4 h was 50% of the VO2max for lifting each specific weight of box; the limit for lifting light boxes without fatigue was at an oxygen uptake of about 25% of the VO2max obtained from bicycle ergometry. Significant fatigue in the forearm muscles was found during prolonged lifting as assessed from the endurance of isometric contractions and from the surface electromyogram (EMG), and was more pronounced as the weight of the box increased.