Determination of a Total Body Model of Efficiency Applied to a Rowing Movement in Humans

PhD Thesis

Doyle, Gary 2016. Determination of a Total Body Model of Efficiency Applied to a Rowing Movement in Humans. PhD Thesis University of East London Health, Sports and Bioscience
AuthorsDoyle, Gary
TypePhD Thesis

Efficiency represents the ratio of work done to energy expended. In human movement, it is desirable to maximise the work done or minimise the energy expenditure. Whilst research has examined the efficiency of human movement for the lower and upper body, there is a paucity of research which considers the efficiency of a total body movement. Rowing is a movement which encompasses all parts of the body to generate locomotion and is a useful modality to measure total body efficiency. It was the aim of this research to develop a total body model of efficiency and explore how skill level of participants and assumptions of the modelling process affected the efficiency estimates
Three studies were used to develop and evaluate the efficiency model. Firstly, the efficiency of ten healthy males was established using rowing, cycling and arm cranking. The model included internal work from motion capture and efficiency estimates were comparable to published literature, indicating the suitability of the model to estimate efficiency. Secondly, the model was developed to include a multi-segmented trunk and twelve novice and twelve skilled participants were assessed for efficiency. Whilst the efficiency estimates were similar to published results, novice participants were assessed as more efficient. Issues such as the unique physiology of trained rowers and a lack of energy transfers in the model were considered contributing factors. Finally the model was redeveloped to account for energy transfers, where skilled participants had higher efficiency at large workloads.
This work presents a novel model for estimating efficiency during a rowing motion. The specific inclusion of energy transfers expands previous knowledge of internal work and efficiency, demonstrating a need to include energy transfers in the assessment of efficiency of a total body action.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintMar 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited23 Jun 2016
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