City-Data Forum How much torque could a average human produce? (tire, best, exhaust)
 User Name Remember Me Password [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.

01-21-2013, 06:41 AM
 Location: SoCal 1,506 posts, read 3,168,004 times Reputation: 1120

How much?

With arms and legs and body in general..

01-21-2013, 06:56 AM
 Location: The Sand Hills of NC 8,776 posts, read 14,134,753 times Reputation: 11850
What a stupid question so I will provide a stupid answer.
If you can open a beer bottle twist off cap you have enough torque.

01-21-2013, 08:07 AM
 131 posts, read 319,867 times Reputation: 145
Ask a figure skater. A really fast spinner can generate plenty.

01-21-2013, 09:40 AM
 Location: Northern MN 3,869 posts, read 12,498,951 times Reputation: 3540
The average adult can produce about 100 watts constantly. The best athlete can produce about 1000 watts [1.3 HP] for a few seconds.
BUT
Jason Queally was measured as producing 2200 watts of power.
A good cyclist could generate .4 horsepower indefinitely.

Just a couple of comments in case anyone is interested. I found that the response to load is extremely non-linear. The perceived change in difficulty between 100 and 200 watts is negligible - a 100% increase in load - but the change from 200 to 300 watts - a 50% increase in load - is enough to overwhelm most people in very little time; a matter of 1 to 5 seconds. Also, humans are much more efficient at producing slow, high force motions than relatively quick, low force motions. Even though the same power is produced, we tire more quickly with more motion. This becomes obvious when one considers that in addition to the load we must move our own mass, legs, arms, etc. At the same time, high torque motion met with impulse loads can cause almost immediate exhaustion. The person often feels overwhelmed after only fractions of a second. For example, when the pedals of a bicycle are in the vertical position yielding zero mechanical advantage, the rider is easily overwhelmed if near his or her maximum ability already. Even if they can power through, the riders power output drops off drastically.

In addition to the two muscle fibers mentioned, aerobic and anaerobic, there is an intermediate group that uses both mechanisms to produce motion and force. I always found it interesting to try to understand this interplay of the three different types of muscle tissues, given that discussed above.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by snofarmer or what is torque? torque is the twisting force the engine applies to the crankshaft. In SI units, the power of the engine is measured as the torque times the rotational speed. In US customary units, we measure engine output in horsepower and torque in foot-pounds. A horsepower equals 550 foot-pounds per second. Two engines with very different torque characteristics can have exactly the same horsepower since one horsepower can be generated by moving one pound 550 feet or moving 550 pounds one foot, as long as it is accomplished in one second. The high torque engine would be rotating proportionally more slowly than the low torque engine at the same power output, but twisting the crankshaft harder.

01-21-2013, 10:29 AM
 2,393 posts, read 4,856,485 times Reputation: 4511
What lever arm?

Torque is the product of force and lever arm. An easy estimate of the force is a person's weight in pounds (because a pound IS a unit of force).

01-21-2013, 11:43 AM
 Location: Austin, TX 1,592 posts, read 3,023,607 times Reputation: 704
In the same vein, how much horsepower (HP) does a human produce?

01-21-2013, 02:04 PM
 Location: The Valley of the Sun 1,481 posts, read 2,163,543 times Reputation: 1528
Quote:
 Originally Posted by rational1 What lever arm?Torque is the product of force and lever arm. An easy estimate of the force is a person's weight in pounds (because a pound IS a unit of force).
That was going to be my answer as well. If you push on a 1 mile long (5280 feet) lever arm with say... 200lbs, which is about what most adult men can bench press then you'd produce 1,056,000 ft*lbs of torque. Does this answer your question OP?

01-21-2013, 07:27 PM
 2,393 posts, read 4,856,485 times Reputation: 4511
> In the same vein, how much horsepower (HP) does a human produce?

Not in the same vein, because this does have an answer.

Of course we expect less than 1 HP. Wikipedia says 0.1 HP indefinitely, which sounds reasonable to me.

01-21-2013, 07:36 PM
 Location: Ohio 780 posts, read 2,134,096 times Reputation: 628
Why is this thread in Automotive and not moved/locked ?

01-21-2013, 08:41 PM
 2,010 posts, read 3,397,153 times Reputation: 1928
Archimedes said “Give me a fixed point and I will move the world.”

In other words, a person can create an infinite torque if given a fix point and an infinite lever - since torque is the product of force x lever length (distance to pivot point).

Last edited by 28173; 01-21-2013 at 09:41 PM..
 Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over \$68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned. Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.