Researchers from the University of British Columbia have found that women appear to have greater muscle endurance than men.
Nine women and eight men were asked to push their foot against sensors 200 times as quickly as possible. Scientists then measured the speed, power and torque of their movements and the electrical activity of their muscles. Foot movements were selected because of the connection and utilisation of the calf muscle, a part of our body we use for everyday actions like walking and standing.
The results showed the women were less tired after natural muscle exercises than men of a similar age and athletic ability. Although men were faster and more powerful than their female counterparts, they became more exhausted much faster. Professor Brian Dalton, the author of the study, said on the findings: “the answer is pretty definitive: women can outlast men by a wide margin.”
Questions of now been raised as to whether the same results would be found when considering other areas of the body and muscular system. It is already known that women outperform men in terms of fatigue during isometric testing (static exercises, i.e. holding weight), but is this the case for all types of exercises?
The body is still a mysterious space for science, and the questions proposed above will not be able to be unequivocally answered for a long time. With improving practices and management within sports, however, it will be interesting to see how the long-distance fields develop over the next century. The research was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. Follow the link to review and access the full research project.