QuestionIs this machine more efficient than running? http://www.techdigest.tv/2008/11/youtube_video_o_205.html
      – Thelevellers, 2009-02-15 at 15:08:55   (4 comments)

On 2009-02-15 at 15:12:16, Thelevellers wrote...
I got into a very heated debate with my housemate on this, I say no, it can't be, he disagree(s/d) -obviously. Anyone on here have any evidence to back either argument up? He triied a quick googling but didn't find what he wanted. It was a tricky debate, as I had ZERO supporting evidence except vague memories of either a new scientist article, or a random web article. And my oppenent used some irritating 'discussion' methods...
On 2009-02-15 at 16:11:33, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's not really clear whether the machine uses only human power or not - the article suggests not, but I'd say it does. Given efficiency losses, it seems damned obvious that it's inefficient to both move the mass of the treadmill against friction (and sometimes gravity) whilst losing energy transferred from your legs to the conveyor. You could argue that it's like riding a bike, where you build up momentum and then the friction of the machine is low enough that keeping it moving is faster, but that really doesn't seem to be the case here. For one thing, your legs are optimised for locomotion and putting power down through your feet into a horizontal belt seems horribly inefficient. Also, the machine is large and unwieldy unlike a bike. Any arguments about this would be reminiscent of the aeroplane on a treadmill debate - http://www.airplaneonatreadmill.com previously discussed here <http://discussionator.com/?id=221>.
On 2009-02-15 at 17:41:49, Thelevellers wrote...
Woop! Thank-you... i will look into the aeroplane on a treadmill thing, sounds interesting! :)
On 2009-02-19 at 05:31:41, BorgClown wrote...
Doesn't look like it, as opposed to a bicycle. Wide wheels, and using your legs to apply a perpendicular motion to a flat surface... Can't back it up mathematically, but it looks inefficient. And fun, specially with a partner.