Energetics of Human Activity

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Energetics of Human ActivityWillliam Sparrow
US Price: $57
312 pages

About the Author | Table of Contents | Audiences

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.

About 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.

Table of Contents


Reference for motor learning and control professionals, biomechanists, physiologists, and sport psychology professionals. Also a supplemental text for students in motor learning and control courses.

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