Differences in oxygen uptake (VO2) relative to body mass between children and adults walking or running at a given speed might be the result of body size differences. In order to determine whether body size is the main factor affecting these differences in VO2 per kg, we investigated treadmill economy in 10 female adolescents (girls) and 10 women who were matched for body size. There were no significant differences between groups in anthropometrics, stride frequency, or VO2peak. Mean mass-specific VO2 was not significantly different during walking (girls: 12.3 ± 1.7 ml·kg-1·min-1; women: 10.9 ± 1.4 ml·kg-1·min-1) or running (girls: 30.5 ± 3.5 ml·kg-1·min-1; women: 29.0 ± 2.0 ml·kg-1·min-1). Body size appears to have the largest effect on oxygen cost differences usually seen between girls and women during locomotion.
Grossner is with the Physiology and Biophysics Department, Case Western Reserve University. Johnson is with the Pediatrics Department, Case Western Reserve University. Cabrera is with the Physiology and Biophysics Department and the Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University. In addition, the authors are all with and Pediatric Cardiology Department, Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital of University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH