Fatigue pp 361-380 | Cite as

Task-Dependent Factors in Fatigue of Human Voluntary Contractions

  • B. Bigland-Ritchie
  • C. L. Rice
  • S. J. Garland
  • M. L. Walsh
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 384)


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”.


Motor Unit Maximal Voluntary Contraction Tibialis Anterior Voluntary Contraction Apply Physiology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Bigland-Ritchie
    • 1
  • C. L. Rice
    • 2
  • S. J. Garland
    • 3
  • M. L. Walsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and Department of AnatomyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Department of Physical TherapyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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