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October 17, 1966

Percentage Error Is Misleading

JAMA. 1966;198(3):252. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110160080025

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In the original contribution titled "The Effects of Limitation of Activity Upon the Human Body," published June 6 (196:825-830), the legend for Fig 3 (p 827) contains a significant error. The percentage in the second sentence, "Demonstrable fatigue occurs following ten minutes of one-second contractions at 50% of maximal strength alternating with one-second rest periods," should properly read "... at 5% of maximal strength...." As the emphasis of the figure and the section on muscular endurance was that fatigue occurs when only a very small percentage of muscular strength is used, the error in the percentage may falsely reassure the reader that fatigue occurs only when heavy work is done.