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Colleen M. Grossner, Emily M. Johnson and Marco E. Cabrera

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.

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William A. Sparrow, Rezaul K. Begg and Suzanne Parker

Visual reaction time (RT) was measured in 10 older men (mean age, 71.1 years) and gender-matched controls (mean age, 26.3 years) when standing (single task) and when walking on a motor-driven treadmill (dual task). There were 90 quasirandomly presented trials over 15 min in each condition. Longer mean and median RTs were observed in the dual task compared to the single task. Older males had significantly slower mean and median RTs (315 and 304 ms, respectively) than the younger group (273 and 266 ms, respectively) in both task conditions. There were no age or condition effects on within-subject variability. Both groups showed a trend of increasing RT over the 90 single task trials but when walking only the younger group slowed. These novel findings demonstrate high but sustained attention by older adults when walking. It is proposed that the motor task’s attentional demands might contribute to their slower preferred walking speed.

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Kelly S. Chu, Edward C. Rhodes, Jack E. Taunton and Alan D. Martin

The purpose of this study was to assess the difference in maximal physiological responses between an acute bout of deep-water running (DWR) and treadmill running (TMR) in young and older adults. Participants were 9 young and 9 older women who performed maximal DWR and TMR tests. Maximal measures included oxygen consumption (VO2max), heart rate (HRmax), ventilation (VE), respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), and blood lactate (BLac). The young women exhibited higher VO2max, HRmax, VE, and BLac than did the older women for both exercise conditions (p < .05). Lower VO2max and HRmax values were observed with DWR for both age groups (p < .05). No significant differences were found for VE, RER, and BLac in either group between exercise conditions, nor a significant interaction between exercise conditions or ages for any of the variables measured. The data suggest that although older adults exhibit lower maximal metabolic responses, differences between DWR and TMR responses occur irrespective of age.

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Kenneth R. Turley, Danette M. Rogers, Kevin M. Harper, Kathleen I. Kujawa and Jack H. Wilmore

This study was designed to determine the differing cardiorespiratory responses between maximal treadmill (TM) and cycle (CY) ergometry, and the reliability and variability of these responses in 46 children 7 to 9 years old (23 boys and 23 girls). Two maximal TM and two maximal CY tests were administered, as well as a body composition assessment. The TM resulted in a 9.4%, 11,1%, and 10.2% higher maximal oxygen consumption values (V̇O2, ml·kg−1·min−1) than the CY in boys, girls, and the total population, respectively. Both the TM and the CY proved to be reliable measures of maximal V̇O2 (ml·kg−1·min−1) in both boys and girls, with intraclass correlations ranging from R = .63 to .90. Variability was significantly less (p ≤ .05) on the CY (V̇O2 in L·min−1) than the TM, 4.4% versus 6.2%, respectively.

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Brandon L. Alderman, Ryan L. Olson and Diana M. Mattina

Background:

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of walking at self-selected speed on an active workstation on cognitive performance.

Methods:

Sixty-six participants (n = 27 males, 39 females; mean age = 21.06 ± 1.6 years) completed a treadmill-desk walking and a seated control condition, separated by 48 hours. During each condition, participants completed computerized versions of the Stroop test, a modified flanker task, and a test of reading comprehension.

Results:

No significant differences in response speed or accuracy were found between walking and sitting conditions for any the cognitive tests.

Conclusions:

These findings reveal that performance on cognitive tasks, including executive control processes, are not impaired by walking on an active workstation. Implementing active workstations into offices and classrooms may help to decrease sedentariness without impairing task performance.

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Daniel A. Keir, Raphaël Zory, Céline Boudreau-Larivière and Olivier Serresse

Objectives:

Mechanical efficiency (ME) describes the ratio between mechanical (P MECH) and metabolic (P MET) power. The purpose of the study was to include an estimation of anaerobic energy expenditure (AnE) into the quantification of P MET using the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) and to examine its effect on the value of ME in treadmill running at submaximal, maximal, and supramaximal running speeds.

Methods:

Participants (N = 11) underwent a graded maximal exercise test to determine velocity at peak oxygen uptake (vVO2peak). On 4 separate occasions, subjects ran for 6 min at speeds corresponding to 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak. During each testing session, P MET was measured from pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO2p) using opencircuit spirometry and was quantified in 2 ways: from VO2p and an estimate of AnE (from the AOD method) and from VO2p only. P MECH was determined from kinematic analyses.

Results:

ME at 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak was 59.9% ± 11.9%, 55.4% ± 12.2%, 51.5% ± 6.8%, and 52.9% ± 7.5%, respectively, when AnE was included in the calculation of P MET. The exclusion of AnE yielded significantly greater values of ME at all speeds: 62.9% ± 11.4%, 62.4% ± 12.6%, 55.1% ± 6.2%, and 64.2% ± 8.4%; P = .001 (for 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak, respectively).

Conclusions:

The data suggest that an estimate of AnE should be considered in the computation of P MET when determining ME of treadmill running, as its exclusion leads to overestimations of ME values.

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James Faulkner, Alexis R. Mauger, Brandon Woolley and Danielle Lambrick

Purpose:

To assess the utility of a self-paced maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test (SPV) in eliciting an accurate measure of VO2max in comparison with a traditional graded exercise test (GXT) during motorized treadmill exercise.

Design:

This was a cross-sectional experimental study whereby recreationally trained men (n = 13, 25.5 ± 4.6 y) completed 2 maximal exercise tests (SPV, GXT) separated by a 72-h recovery period.

Methods:

The GXT was continuous and incremental, with prescribed 1-km/h increases every 2 min until the attainment of VO2max. The SPV consisted of 5 × 2-min stages of incremental exercise, which were self-selected and adjusted according to 5 prescribed RPE levels (RPE 11, 13, 15, 17, and 20).

Results:

Although no significant differences in VO2max were observed between the SPV and GXT (63.9 ± 3.3 cf 60.9 ± 4.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively, P > .05), the apparent 4.7% mean difference may be practically important. The 95% limits-of-agreement analysis was 3.03 ± 11.49 mL · kg−1 · min−1. Therefore, in the worst-case scenario, the GXT may underestimate measured VO2max as ascertained by the SPV by up to 19%. Conversely, the SPV could underestimate the GXT by 14%.

Conclusions:

The current study has shown that the SPV is an accurate measure of VO2max during exercise on a motorized treadmill and may provide a slightly higher VO2max value than that obtained from a traditional GXT. The higher VO2max during the SPV may be important when prescribing training or monitoring athlete progression.

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Steve Barrett, Adrian Midgley and Ric Lovell

Purpose:

The study aimed to establish the test–retest reliability and convergent validity of PlayerLoad™ (triaxial-accelerometer data) during a standardized bout of treadmill running.

Methods:

Forty-four team-sport players performed 2 standardized incremental treadmill running tests (7–16 km/h) 7 d apart. Players’ oxygen uptake (VO2; n = 20), heart rate (n = 44), and triaxialaccelerometer data (PlayerLoad; n = 44) measured at both the scapulae and at the center of mass (COM), were recorded. Accelerometer data from the individual component planes of PlayerLoad (anteroposterior [PLAP], mediolateral [PLML], and vertical [PLV]) were also examined.

Results:

Moderate to high test–retest reliability was observed for PlayerLoad and its individual planes (ICC .80–.97, CV 4.2–14.8%) at both unit locations. PlayerLoad was significantly higher at COM vs scapulae (223.4 ± 42.6 vs 185.5 ± 26.3 arbitrary units; P = .001). The percentage contributions of individual planes to PlayerLoad were higher for PLML at the COM (scapulae 20.4% ± 3.8%, COM 26.5% ± 4.9%; P = .001) but lower for PLV (scapulae 55.7% ± 5.3%, COM 49.5% ± 6.9%; P = .001). Between-subjects correlations between PlayerLoad and VO2, and between PlayerLoad and heart rate were trivial to moderate (r = –.43 to .33), whereas within-subject correlations were nearly perfect (r = .92–.98).

Conclusions:

PlayerLoad had a moderate to high degree of test–retest reliability and demonstrated convergent validity with measures of exercise intensity on an individual basis. However, caution should be applied in making between-athletes contrasts in loading and when using recordings from the scapulae to identify lower-limb movement patterns.

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Kenneth H. Pitetti, A. Lynn Millar and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to compare test-retest reliability when measuring peak physiological capacities of children and adolescents (age = 13.6 ± 2.9 yr) with mental retardation (MR) and their peers (12.0 ± 2.9 yr) without mental retardation (NMR) using a discontinuous treadmill (TM) protocol. Forty-six participants (23 MR = 12 male and 11 female; 23 NMR = 12 male and 11 female) completed two peak performance treadmill tests with 3 to 7 days of rest between tests. Physiological values measured included V̇O2peak (1 $$ min-1 and ml $$ kg-1 $$ min-1), V̇Epeak (1 $$ mhr-1), HRpeak (bpm), and RER (V̇O2 $$ V̇O2 -1). Test-retest reliability coefficients ranged from .85 to .99 for participants with MR and from .55 to .99 for participants without MR. Test reliability and accuracy in the present study does not appear to differ between the NMR and MR participants.

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Nicola C. Sutton, David J. Childs, Oded Bar-Or and Neil Armstrong

The purpose of this study was to develop a nonmotorized treadmill sprint test (ExNMT) to assess children’s short-term power output, to establish the test’s repeatability, and to compare the results to corresponding Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) measurements. Nineteen children (aged 10.9±0.3 years) completed 2 ExNMTs and 2 WAnTs. Statistical analysis revealed coefficients of repeatability for the ExNMT that compared very favorably with the WAnT for both peak power (26.6 vs. 44.5 W) and mean power (15.3 vs. 42.1 W). The validity of the ExNMT as a test of anaerobic performance is reflected by significant correlations (p ≤.05) with the WAnT (peak power, r = 0.82; mean power, r = 0.88) and reinforced by the relatively high post-exercise blood lactate concentrations (7.1 ± 1.3 vs. 5.6 ± 1.5 mmol · L−1 for the ExNMT and WAnT, respectively). This study has developed a promising laboratory running test with which to examine young people’s short-term power output.