Men may be physically stronger than women, but when it comes to endurance, women come out ahead, according to a study from the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus

In the study, eight men and nine women at a similar fitness level were recruited by assistant professor Brian Dalton in collaboration with The University of Gelph and the University of Oregon. Dalton had all of them flex a foot against a group of sensors 200 times as quickly as possible while the speed, power, and torque of their movements was recorded.

His conclusion? Men are more powerful from the get-go, but they get tired out way faster than women. 

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“We’ve known for some time that women are less fatigable than men during isometric muscle tests—static exercises where joints don’t move, such as holding a weight,” says Dalton, according to the UBC website. “But we wanted to find out if that’s true during more dynamic and practical everyday movements, and the answer is pretty definitive: women can outlast men by a wide margin.”

Even though the study was small and the method of testing was specific, Dalton says that he’d expect consistent results with other muscle groups, and that other studies have showed similar results. “We know from previous research that for events like ultra-trail running, males may complete them faster but females are considerably less tired by the end,” Dalton says. “If ever an ultra-ultra-marathon is developed, women may well dominate in that arena.”

These findings can help with things like designing exercise plans or minimizing tiredness in the workplace. He jokes that there’s no “battle of the sexes” but more of a “balance of the sexes”.

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