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Gianluca Vernillo, Aldo Savoldelli, Barbara Pellegrini and Federico Schena

The current study aimed to show the validity of a portable motion sensor, the SenseWear Armband (SWA), for the estimation of energy expenditure during pole walking. Twenty healthy adults (mean ± SD: age 30.1 ± 7.2 year, body mass 66.1 ± 10.6 kg, height 172.4 ± 8.0 cm, BMI 22.1 ± 2.4 kg·m−2) wore the armband during randomized pole walking activities at a constant speed (1.25 m·s−1) and at seven grades (0%, ±5%, ±15% and ±25%). Estimates of total energy expenditure from the armband were compared with values derived from indirect calorimetry methodology (IC) using a 2–way mixed model ANOVA (Device × Slope), correlation analyses and Bland-Altman plots. Results revealed significant main effects for device, and slope (p < .025) as well as a significant interaction (p < .001). Significant differences between IC and SWA were observed for all conditions (p < .05). SWA generally underestimate the EE values during uphill PW by 0.04 kcal·kg−1·min−1 (p < .05). Whereas, a significant overestimation has been detected during flat and downhill PW by 0.01 and 0.03 kcal·kg−1·min−1 (p < .05), respectively. The Bland-Altman plots revealed bias of the armband compared with the indirect calorimetry at any condition examined. The present data suggest that the armband is not accurate to correctly detect and estimate the energy expenditure during pole walking activities. Therefore, the observed over- and under-estimations warrants more work to improve the ability of SWA to accurately measure EE for these activities.

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Gianluca Vernillo, Aldo Savoldelli, Barbara Pellegrini and Federico Schena


Accurate assessments of physical activity and energy expenditure (EE) are needed to advance research on positive and negative graded walking.


To evaluate the validity of 2 SenseWear Armband monitors (Pro3 and the recently released Mini) during graded walking.


Twenty healthy adults wore both monitors during randomized walking activities on a motorized treadmill at 7 grades (0%, ±5%, ±15%, and ±25%). Estimates of total EE from the monitors were computed using different algorithms and compared with values derived from indirect calorimetry methodology using a 2-way mixed model ANOVA (Device × Condition), correlation analyses and Bland-Altman plots.


There was no significant difference in EE between the 2 armbands in any of the conditions examined. Significant main effects for device and condition, as well as a consistent bias, were observed during positive and negative graded walking with a greater over- and under-estimation at higher slope.


Both the armbands produced similar EE values and seem to be not accurate in estimation of EE during activities involving uphill and downhill walking. Additional work is needed to understand factors contributing to this discrepancy and to improve the ability of these monitors to accurately measure EE during graded walking.

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Nicolas Fabre, Laurent Mourot, Livio Zerbini, Barbara Pellegrini, Lorenzo Bortolan and Federico Schena

This study tested the hypothesis that the DMAX (for maximal distance) method could be applied to ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), to propose a novel method for individual detection of the lactate threshold (LT) using RPE alone during an incremental test to exhaustion. Twenty-one participants performed an incremental test on a cycle ergometer. At the end of each stage, lactate concentration was measured and the participants estimated RPE using the Borg CR100 scale. The intensity corresponding to the fixed lactate values of 2 or 4 mmol · L−1(2mM and 4mM), the ventilatory threshold (VT), the respiratory-compensation point (RCP), and the instant of equality of pulmonary gas exchange (RER=1.00) were determined. Lactate (DMAX La) and RPE (DMAX RPE) thresholds were determined using the DMAX method. Oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate, and power output measured at DMAX RPE and at DMAX La were not statistically different. Bland-Altman plots showed small bias and good agreements when DMAX RPE was compared with the DMAX La and RER=1.00 methods (bias = −0.05% and −2% of VO2max, respectively). Conversely, VO2 from the DMAX RPE method was lower than VO2 at 4 mM and at RCP and was higher than VO2 at 2 mM and at VT. VO2 at DMAX RPE was strongly correlated with VO2 at DMAX La (r = .97), at RER=1.00 (r = .97), at 2 mM (r = .85), at 4 mM (r = .93), at VT (r = .95), and at RCP (r = .95). The combination of the DMAX method with the RPE responses permitted precise and individualized estimates of LT using the DMAX method.

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Federico Schena, Barbara Pellegrini, Cantor Tarperi, Elisa Calabria, Gian Luca Salvagno and Carlo Capelli

The effect of a prolonged running trial on the energy cost of running (C r) during a 60-km ultramarathon simulation at the pace of a 100-km competition was investigated in 13 men (40.8 ± 5.6 y, 70.7 ± 5.5 kg, 177.5 ± 4.5 cm) and 5 women (40.4 ± 2.3 y, 53.7 ± 4.4 kg, 162.4 ± 4.8 cm) who participated in a 60-km trial consisting of 3 consecutive 20-km laps. Oxygen uptake (VO2) at steady state was determined at constant speed before the test and at the end of each lap; stride length (SL) and frequency and contact time were measured at the same time points; serum creatine kinase (S-CPK) was measured before and at the end of the test. C r in J · kg−1 · m−1, as calculated from VO2ss and respiratory-exchange ratio, did not increase with distance. SL significantly decreased with distance. The net increase in S-CPK was linearly related with the percentage increase of C r observed during the trial. It is concluded that, in spite of increased S-CPK, this effort was not able to elicit any peripheral or central fatigue or biomechanical adaptation leading to any modification of C r.