How efficient can a human be?

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Offline Geezer

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How efficient can a human be?
« on: 01/04/2010 00:28:20 »
In some respects, humans are no different from other "machines". They consume energy and (can) do useful work, but in the process they also waste energy, mainly in the form of heat.

So, how efficient can humans be? In other words, what is the maximum energy efficiency of a human?

Could we determine this if we measure the heat output by a human while that human is doing work?
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

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Offline RD

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How efficient can a human be?
« Reply #1 on: 01/04/2010 00:31:43 »
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The efficiency of human muscle has been measured (in the context of rowing and cycling) at 18% to 26%.  The efficiency is defined as the ratio of mechanical work output to the total metabolic  cost, as can be calculated from oxygen consumption.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscle#Efficiency