Productivity (metric tons (tonnes)/day), efficiency (kg cane cut/litre Vo2), and effort (percent Vo2 max sustained during an 8-hour workday) have been measured in 54 Colombian sugar cane cutters. In workers who sustained less than 40% Vo2 max during the workday, the effort expended was related to productivity (4 = 0-71) but efficiency and productivity were not significantly correlated. In 16 workers sustaining a greater than 40% Vo2 max during the workday, productivity and effort were not related and efficiency was significantly reduced. Subjects using less than 40% Vo2 max were divided into good, average and poor producers and compared with the men with low efficiencies. In general, these inefficient men had the anthropometric and physical fitness characteristics of low productivity workers (smaller stature, weight and Vo2 max). However, the frequency of good, average, and poor cutters in the inefficient group did not differ from that of the men expending less than 40% of their maximum effort nor was their average productivity different. No obvious reasons for the differences in efficiency and effort of these men were found.
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