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Overview

Energetics of Human Activity provides a detailed, contemporary discussion of the efficiency of movement from a multidisciplinary perspective. The text explores the process by which humans optimize their energy expenditure in learning and controlling movements.

As the first collaborative text that focuses on the energetics of motor coordination and control, Energetics of Human Activity is written by 24 international researchers in the movement sciences, including noted experts from the fields of psychology, physiology, and biomechanics. This presents the reader with a broad range of opinions and research findings.

Collectively, the chapters discuss three topics of interest from a movement economy perspective: individual differences, motor learning, and the control of action. The hypothesis that minimization of metabolic energy expenditure is a universal constraint on the structure of emerging movement patterns is also presented by three movement subdiscipline perspectives. These approaches include the mechanics of human motion, the physiological cost of meeting task demands, and the effects of practice on performance.

Each chapter provides a systematic basis for examining metabolic energy expenditure, presents the research findings that support the contention that energy expenditure regulates the development of movement patterns, and makes valuable suggestions to stimulate future research. The text also contains more than 100 figures that are clear and easy to interpret, making the information simple to understand.

Energetics of Human Activity is a unique text that provides a complete perspective on metabolic energy expenditure from various disciplines. It is an invaluable resource for movement science professionals.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Don W. Morgan, PhD (Arizona State University)
Description: This book takes a multidisciplinary approach in linking energy use and human locomotion.
Purpose: The purpose is to examine the hypothesis that minimizing metabolic energy expenditure is a universal constraint on the structure of emerging movement patterns. Since movement is a basic human activity that promotes health, well-being, and independence, understanding fundamental principles that govern human motion is important. Using research findings derived from the subdisciplines of exercise physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and motor learning and control, Sparrow and his colleagues provide a detailed and contemporary discussion of how humans optimize their energy expenditure in learning and controlling movements.
Audience: Although this book is targeted generally towards movement science professionals, researchers in the field of human locomotion who are interested in gaining a broad view of how movement efficiency has been studied will probably benefit most from reading this text.
Features: A sampling of topics covered in the nine chapters include how metabolic energy expenditure is linked to sense of effort, the selection of preferred rates of movement, and transitions between different modes of gait. While much evidence is presented supporting the notion that optimizing energy use is a primary factor governing the expression of basic movement patterns in humans, the possibility that gait descriptors may be influenced by non-energy factors, such as the structural properties of body tissues and maintaining dynamic stability, is also considered. The incorporation of a dynamical systems approach in understanding how task demands and constraints affect movement proficiency in healthy individuals and those with neuromuscular disease (e.g., cerebral palsy) is a unique feature. A minor drawback is that sections of the chapter dealing with mechanical power and work in human movement may be too technical for some readers.
Assessment: This book provides a comprehensive overview of how minimizing energy expenditure regulates the development of movement patterns in humans. It should be in the library of any researcher or sports medicine professional interested in gait analysis or metabolic aspects of locomotion.
Don W. Morgan
This book takes a multidisciplinary approach in linking energy use and human locomotion. The purpose is to examine the hypothesis that minimizing metabolic energy expenditure is a universal constraint on the structure of emerging movement patterns. Since movement is a basic human activity that promotes health, well-being, and independence, understanding fundamental principles that govern human motion is important. Using research findings derived from the subdisciplines of exercise physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and motor learning and control, Sparrow and his colleagues provide a detailed and contemporary discussion of how humans optimize their energy expenditure in learning and controlling movements. Although this book is targeted generally towards movement science professionals, researchers in the field of human locomotion who are interested in gaining a broad view of how movement efficiency has been studied will probably benefit most from reading this text. A sampling of topics covered in the nine chapters include how metabolic energy expenditure is linked to sense of effort, the selection of preferred rates of movement, and transitions between different modes of gait. While much evidence is presented supporting the notion that optimizing energy use is a primary factor governing the expression of basic movement patterns in humans, the possibility that gait descriptors may be influenced by non-energy factors, such as the structural properties of body tissues and maintaining dynamic stability, is also considered. The incorporation of a dynamical systems approach in understanding how task demands and constraints affect movement proficiency in healthy individuals and those withneuromuscular disease (e.g., cerebral palsy) is a unique feature. A minor drawback is that sections of the chapter dealing with mechanical power and work in human movement may be too technical for some readers. This book provides a comprehensive overview of how minimizing energy expenditure regulates the development of movement patterns in humans. It should be in the library of any researcher or sports medicine professional interested in gait analysis or metabolic aspects of locomotion.
Booknews
International researchers in the movement sciences, including experts from fields of psychology, physiology, and biomechanics, discuss the efficiency of movement from a multidisciplinary perspective, exploring the process by which humans optimize their energy expenditure in learning and controlling movements. They present research findings that support the contention that energy expenditure regulates the development of movement patterns, and make suggestions to stimulate further research efforts. Sparrow teaches in the School of Health Sciences at Deakin University, Australia. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880117876
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/15/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

W.A. Sparrow, PhD, is currently a senior lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at Deakin University, Australia. A major focus of his work has been metabolic energy expenditure and movement coordination and control.

Sparrow's work has been published in such scholarly journals as the Journal of Motor Behavior and the Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. The major theme of this book had its origins in a paper titled "The Efficiency of Skilled Performance," which appeared in the Journal of Motor Behavior in 1983. This work proposed that references to “economy” or “efficiency” in traditional definitions of motor expertise could be studied experimentally by examining the effects of practice on the metabolic energy expended to achieve the motor task goal.

Sparrow received his PhD at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he also worked as a research assistant in the Motor Behavior Laboratory under the supervision of Karl Newell.

He and his wife, Helen, reside in Melbourne, Australia. His leisure time activities include reading and swimming.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Metabolic Energy Expenditure and Accuracy in Movement: Relation to Levels of Muscle and Cardiorespiratory Activation and the Sense of Effort
Nicholas J. O'Dwyer and Peter D. Neilson

Chapter 2. Factors That Have Shaped Human Locomotor Structure and Behavior: The “Joules” in the Crown
Aftab E. Patla and W.A. Sparrow

Chapter 3. Movement Proficiency: Incorporating Task Demands and Constraints in Assessing Human Movement
Graham E. Caldwell, Richard E.A. van Emmerik, and Joseph Hamill

Chapter 4. Movement Economy, Preferred Modes, and Pacing
W.A. Sparrow, K.M. Hughes, A.P. Russell, and P.F. Le Rossignol

Chapter 5. Triggers for the Transition Between Human Walking and Running
Alastair Hanna, Bruce Abernethy, Robert J. Neal, and Robin Burgess-Limerick
Chapter 6. Learned Changes in Behavioral Efficiency: The Effects of Concurrent and Terminal Exteroceptive Feedback of Response Success
Jasper Brener and Scott Carnicom

Chapter 7. Mechanical Power and Work in Human Movement
Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and Robert J. Gregor
Chapter 8. Optimisation in the Learning of Cyclical Actions
Bjørn Almåsbakk, H.T.A. Whiting, and Roland van den Tillar

Chapter 9. Dynamic and Thermodynamic Constraints and the Metabolic Cost of Locomotion
Kenneth G. Holt, Sergio T. Fonseca, and John P. Obusek

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