"Diverting activity" is defined as any physical or mental activity performed between or simultaneously with bouts of exhaustive, local muscular work. In the present experiments bouts of exhaustive work consisting of rhythmic lifting of weights were performed with the elbow flexors or with the flexors of the middle finger. Pauses of 2 min duration spent in complete rest or while performing diverting activities alternated between the bouts of work. As diverting activities were used: Physical activity, dynamic or static, performed with big or small muscle groups (other than the fatigued group), or mental activity (problem solving). It was found that the amount of work that could be performed after a pause with diverting activity was always larger than the amount of work performed after a passive pause. The beneficial effect was seen also when the blood flow to the exhausted muscles was interrupted by pneumatic cuffs. Determination of the blood flow in the exhausted muscles by means of Xe-133 clearance showed no systematic blood flow increases caused by the diverting activity. It is concluded that recuperation after local muscle fatigue is influenced by a central nervous factor (Setchenov phenomenon) that is largely independent of the local blood flow.