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Big Picture 15: Exercise, Energy and Movement

Big Picture 15: Exercise, Energy and Movement

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Published by Wellcome Trust
In this issue of 'Big Picture', we look at the biological systems that keep us moving and consider some of the psychological, social and ethical aspects of exercise and sport.
In this issue of 'Big Picture', we look at the biological systems that keep us moving and consider some of the psychological, social and ethical aspects of exercise and sport.

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Published by: Wellcome Trust on Feb 29, 2012
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an active lie
GOT THE MOVES?
How your body uels
EXERCISE, ENERGY AND MOVEMENT
ISSUE 15 | SPRING 2012
bRINGING CUTTING-EDGE SCIENCE INTo THE CLASSRooM
 
2 |
BIG PICTURE 15:
EXERCISE, ENERGY AND MoVEMENTSPRING 2012 | 3
 All living things move.Whether it’s a plant growingtowards the sun, bacteria swimming away rom atoxin or you walking home,anything alive must move to survive. For humans though,movement is more than just  survival – we move or un,to compete and to be healthy.In this issue we look at thebiological systems that keepus moving and consider someo the psychological, socialand ethical aspects o exerciseand sport.
INSIDE
MOVING FIGURES
 A numerical look at exercise,energy and movement.
MaDE TO MOVE
How and why did humans evolveto move on two legs?
MUSCLES aND MOVEMENT
How are muscles madeand how do they help us move?
FUEL FOR LIFE
 What part does oxygen playin powering movement?
FIT IN MIND aND BODY?
Exploring what we mean by ‘beingt’ and how to be healthy.
PEaK PERFORMaNCE
Looking at some social, ethicaland legal issues around sport.
REaL VOICES
Hear rom a sports psychologist,a Paralympic swimmer and a researcher.
2468101214
ONLINE
Go to
 www.wellcome.ac.uk/bigpicture/ exercise
 or more teaching resources,including extra articles, videos, image galleries,curriculum links, lesson ideas, a poster andan animation o muscle contraction. You canalso download the PDF o this magazine or  subscribe to the
Big Picture
series.
 A marathon runner needs about 10 g ATP/second. Muscles’ total ATP content isabout 50 g, which is used up in a second by a sprinter.
Source: Guy Brown,
The Energy of Life
Putting this diagram together, weound that dierent sources gavedierent numbers or the same thing. Why don’t they match? Well, data can be interpreted indierent ways, and estimates can bemade using dierent methods and/orbaseline data. Denitions matter,too – dierent sources might dene‘exercise’ or ‘adult’ dierently. Which should you choose? The sourceitsel is important – is it reliable? Arethe gures recent? How might anorganisation’s ‘agenda’ aect how itcalculates and presents data?
FINDING DaTa
10g/s
5 g/s
aTP TURNOVER: MaRaTHON RUNNER VS. SPRINTER
The energy we use expressed as multiples o our resting metabolic rate – metabolicequivalent o task (MET).
Source: sites.google.com/site/compendiumophysicalactivities
ENERGY USED IN DIFFERENT aCTIVITIES
.3
MODERN RECORDS SET BY OLDER aTHLETES THaT BEaT WINNING TIMES FROM THE 9 OLYMPICS
Each medal rom top: event; age o older athlete surpassing winning Olympic time; their time. For 100 m, 200 m and 400 m, times inseconds; or 800 m and 1500 m, minutes:seconds; or marathon, hours:minutes:seconds.
Source: Tanaka H and Seals DR. J Physio 2008;586(1):55–63.
REaCTION TIME BY aGE
In milliseconds, averaged between sexes and rounded.
Source: wellc.me/u8gWRR
100 m
61 yrs
11.7
200 m
46 yrs
22.1
400 m
63 yrs
53.9
800 m
60 yrs
2:10.4
1500 m
60 yrs
4:27.7
marathon
73 yrs
2:54:5
 ATP standsor adenosinetriphosphate,a moleculeinvolved inthe transero energy inliving cells.
The number o ATP molecules made per second in humans.
Source: Nick Lane,
Power, Sex and Suicide
aTP MOLECULES PER SECONDWHaT IS aTP?
   C  o  v  e  r   i  m  a  g  e  :  s   k  a   t  e   b  o  a  r   d  e  r ,
   l   i  s  e  g  a  g  n  e   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o .
   T  o  p  r  o  w  :  s   k  e   l  e   t  o  n ,
   j   o   h  n  w  o  o   d  c  o  c   k   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o .
   M   i   d   d   l  e  r  o  w  :  r  u  n  n  e  r  s ,
   A  c  e_   C  r  e  a   t  e   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o
 .   B  o   t   t  o  m   r  o  w  :  s   i   t   t   i  n  g  m  a  n ,
   4  x   6   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o
  ;   d  a  n  c   i  n  g  c  o  u  p   l  e ,
   I  n   t  e  r  g  a   l  a  c   t   i  c   D  e  s   i  g  n   S   t  u   d   i  o   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o
  ;    f  o  o   t   b  a   l   l  e  r ,
   L   j   u  p  c  o   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o
  ;   B   M   X  r   i   d  e  r ,
  s  5   i  z   t  o   k   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o .
* Undierentiated tissue, such as organs,spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract.
Skin 8.5%Bone 20.6%Muscle 50%Other
*
20.9%
DISCOUNTING FaT, THE BODY CONSISTS OF...PERCENTaGE OF BODY FaT
Percentage o body at classed as ‘average’or men (let) and women (right).
Source: www.acetness.org/blog/112/what-are-the-guidelines-or-percentage-o-body-at
8–24%25–3%
45–8
8
Moving fgures
 A numerical look at exercise, energy and movement 
   R   e   a   c   t   i   o   n   t   i   m   e    (   m   s    )
 Age (years)
400300200100016 35 5624 44
29530934300324374
63
 
4 |
BIG PICTURE 15:
EXERCISE, ENERGY AND MoVEMENTSPRING 2012 | 5
OUT OF THIS WORLD
Long-term low gravity can seriously aect us
 When we move around in low or zero gravity, the mechanical strainapplied to our skeleton is much lower than on Earth. This is why movingaround in low-gravity environments, such as space, gradually depletesbone mass. Muscle atrophy (wasting) is also a problem and begins evenon short missions (see more on muscles on pages 6 and 7). Crew on theInternational Space Station can spend six months in orbit and have toexercise or hours every day on special equipment to reduce muscleloss; they also have to ollow an exercise programme when they returnto Earth. A human mission to Mars would take almost a year, andmission planners will have to include some high-tech gym kit on thecrat to maintain the muscles and bones o those on board.Most animals get around neon our, six or eight legs. Sowhat made us bipedal, walkingand running on just two? It isunlikely that we will ever knowthe real answer, but by studyingour closest living relatives, thegreat apes, alongside ossil data,we can begin to build a pictureo how our common ancestormay have moved.One prevailing currenttheory is that we evolvedrom an ancestor that movedaround using quadrupedalknuckle-walking, much likeour Arican ape relatives(chimpanzees, bonobos andgorillas) do today. Later, ourancestors stood up and beganto move around on two legs. Various reasons or this havebeen proposed, includingimproved ghting ability,improved carrying ability orreaching ood on low branchesrom the ground. Recent ossilevidence, however, suggeststhat we spent more time in thetrees than previously thought.Orang-utans are the mostarboreal (tree-dwelling) o thegreat apes, and recent studiesshow that they use a human-like orm o straight-leggedbipedalism to move aroundon the very thin branches inthe trees to obtain ood. So, wemight even have been usingsome orm o bipedalism beorewe came down to the ground.
CHaNGE IS aFOOT
What changed when we began towalk on two legs? 
The switch to modern human locomotiongoes along with a set o changes in ourskeleton, tendons, ligaments and muscles. We are adapted or walking, but we are alsoadapted or upright running. Compared toother running animals, humans are poorsprinters but outstanding long-distancerunners. We stay cooler and tire less quicklythan quite a ew animals that are preyor hunter–gatherer tribes. Some tribes,including those in the Kalahari Desert, stillcatch their meat by running down animalssuch as deer and antelope.One o our bipedal ancestors was
 Australopithecus aarensis
, which livedbetween two and our million years ago.Modern humans’ anatomy has changed,making running easier or us than it wouldhave been or
 Australopithecus
. Thesemodications include changes to the head,shoulders and spine, a longer trunk andlegs, shorter orearms and larger, moremuscular buttocks. We also have a longer,more elastic Achilles tendon and haveundergone changes to the heel bone andbig toe.There was also a complex serieso changes in the bones o the pelvis,including it becoming narrower, whichprobably gave increased running eciency.Because babies pass through the pelvis,humans had to enter the world earlier andearlier in gestation as their brains increasedin size. Otherwise, birth would havebeen too risky or mother and child. Ournewborn helplessness, and long dependencyas inants, may come rom the shit to anupright stance.
THINNING BONES
 Age and diet can contributeto thinning bones
Bone strength is maintained i boneis replaced at the same rate as oldbone is removed. When the layingdown o new bone cells slackens,the bones become thinner. In ourlate teens, the mass and density o our bones reaches its peak, thenslowly declines with age. Olderpeople, thereore, have thinnerbones; combined with a decreasein muscle mass, this leaves elderlypeople prone to injuries rom alls.Some 75 000 broken hips are treatedin the UK per year – mostly in olderwomen. The depletion o boneis known as osteoporosis and ismore common in women, probablybecause o hormonal changeslinked to the menopause. Verystrenuous exercise can also disturbthe balance between bone removaland renewal in athletes. This putsthem at risk o stress ractures,which leave hairline breaks in bonesput under load.There is evidence that somezzy drinks can speed up bonethinning. In one study, regularcola drinking was linked tolower bone density in women, orexample, although the reasonsor this are somewhat unclear. Itcould be because cola eatures indiets that are otherwise low incalcium or because such drinkscontain phosphoric acid, whichis known to bind to calcium andmagnesium in the gut, reducingabsorption o the minerals.
 Animals swim, creep, y, walk or run to fnd ood and shelter, to hunt and fght, and to escape rom danger.Humans move or the same reasons, but there are peculiarities about our locomotion. The reasons or the way we move and how we developed our upright  gait are still argued about by researchers.
Mde to move
BaRE BONES
What are our skeletons or? 
I your skeleton were taken away,your organs would be in an untidyheap on the foor. But your skeletonis much more than a simplesupport or your soter parts – bytransmitting orce and providingleverage, it allows you to move.The centres o the long bones(such as those in the arms and legs)are hollow, which makes themstrong yet light. The cavity insidethe bone is lled withbone marrow, whereblood cells are made.In childhood, theends o the longbones in our arms and legs, whichnormally go on growing or 17 yearsor so, are made mainly o cartilage.This soter tissue gradually becomescalcied as it turns into the solid,but still spongy, tissue o maturebone. By then, cartilage is let onlyat the ends, where it eases jointmovements. Even when calcied,bones are still living tissue. Bone –particularly the protein and mineralo the bone matrix – is continuallyremodelled and replaced inresponse to the stressesand strains o movement.
MaKE OR BREaK
What actors aect bone strength? 
 What we eat and how much we move about aects how strong our bones are. Jumpingstrengthens the bones more than running, or example, because the bones are under agreater load. More than two-thirds o bone by weight is made o calcium phosphate crystalsembedded in the matrix that bone cells build. High-calcium oods and drinks like cheese andmilk help raise peak bone mass, a key actor in delaying the onset o osteoporosis. VitaminD is important, too, because it helps calcium absorption. We make most o the vitamin D weneed through exposure to sunlight. Darker skin takes more time in sunlight to make vitaminD than lighter skin, so some dark-skinned people living in temperate countries may needextra vitamin D in their diet to make up or the lack o strong sunlight.MORE ONLINE: Read about which bones humans break most oten and why at
 www.wellcome.ac.uk/bigpicture/exercise
WaLK LIKE a MaN
What steps are involved in walking? 
 Walking may seem as simple as puttingone oot in ront o the other. Analysethe motion, though, and at any one timeyou are balanced on one leg as you moveorward. That leg pivots around the plantedoot and transmits orce rom the groundup to your hipbones, initially slowing youdown. As you slow, you also push upwards,then you start to accelerate again. Youmight simply all orwards, but you swingthe other oot in ront o you just in timeto begin the next step. The degree to whichbouncing, by fexing tendons in the leg andoot, is involved in walking (as it denitelyis in running) is still being studied bybiomechanics experts. Watch a toddler taking their rst steps,or someone recovering rom a strokelearning how to walk again, and it’s clearthat the co-ordination needed is trickyto master. Constant small adjustmentsare needed to keep a person upright andmoving orward. The patellar, or knee-jerk,refex is routed through the spinal nervesor speed so that it can contract thethigh muscles almost instantlywhen the oot is loaded. Without that contraction, youwould stumble at every step. Walking also needs goodproprioception, or a sense o exactly where your body is inrelation to your surroundings.Losing this sense is why you loseyour ooting i there is one more– or one less – step in a fight o stairs than you thought.Robots that mimic humanwalking are now available.For one example, see
 www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/ shc1/Robot/Collins__Science.pd 
.
   C  o   l   l   i  n  s  e   t  a   l   (   2   0   0  5   ) ,   S  c   i  e  n  c  e
Studies have shwn that smkers have signicantly reduced ne masscmpared t nnsmkers. Accrding t estimates, this increases thelikelihd  needing a hip replacement y  per cent in wmen and  percent in men.
Source:
Wrd nd Klesges. Clc Tissue Int ;:9–7
FAST FACT
  n  a  n  o   /   i   S   t  o  c   k  p   h  o   t  o
TWO LEGS GOOD?
Why did humans evolve to be bipedal? 
 
   W  e   l   l  c  o  m  e   L   i   b  r  a  r  y   W  e   l   l  c  o  m  e   L   i   b  r  a  r  y

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