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Imagine a race between a male and female adult, both of whom are roughly the same age and have the same level of fitness. Whom would you expect to win the race? Who would have the greater endurance to finish the race? The answer is, it depends on the type of race. Most people may argue that the man would win, and they’re most likely right if the race is short. But if the race is long, Professor Brian Dalton and his researchers predict that the woman would win as women have greater muscle endurance.

Dalton and his team studied eight men and nine women of similar physical ability. The subjects were asked to flex their feet against sensors 200 times as quickly as possible. Dalton chose this particular action because it represented walking, a dynamic, everyday movement. Dalton then recorded the speed, power, and electrical activity of their movement based on their calf muscles. He and his team concluded that the men were faster and more powerful at the beginning of the experiment, but wore down at the end. In contrast, the women were more evenly-paced and fatigued less than the men.

Having stamina is important for physical activities such as running.

Image source: Chris Ryan

Even though Dalton only studied one movement and muscle group, flexing and the calf respectively, he expects similar results from other muscle groups. Dalton also believes that the results from his study can be applied to more practical applications, such as designing exercise programs specific to the individual. In addition, his study can shed light on ways to improve the work environment and productivity by reducing fatigue.

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” It’s a classic cliché, but it certainly applies in this case. Just because a male may look larger and stronger than a female, he may not “win all the competitions,” so to speak. Men and women both have their physical advantages and disadvantages, but women tend to have better stamina.

Feature Image Source: “Time to Crash” by Becka Spence

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