This study compared balance and peak oxygen consumption (peak VO2) among hearing, congenital nonhearing, and acquired nonhearing female intercollegiate athletes. Twenty-seven subjects completed two measures of peak VO2 and two measures of balance (static and dynamic). Two pieces of exercise equipment requiring different levels of balance were used: the bicycle ergometer (minimal balance) and the bench-step (maximal balance). Significant differences were found for dynamic balance and for peak VO2 for all subject groups. The significant difference remained among the groups for peak VO2 using the bicycle ergometer when dynamic balance was used as a covariate. There was no significant difference for peak VO2 dependent on type of test when dynamic balance was controlled. The results indicated that dynamic balance affected peak VO2 performance on the bench-step, but not on the bicycle ergometer. These findings suggest that if dynamic balance is required for an assessment of peak VO2, balance should be tested in nonhearing populations.
M. Kathleen Ellis was a graduate student at Bowling Green State University at the time of this study and is now with the Athletics Department at Furman University, Greenville, SC 29613. Lynn A. Darby is with the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, School of HPER, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403.