Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health and Human Performance

First Advisor

Ronald Evans


The assessment of ventilatory efficiency (VE/VCO2 slope) is increasingly being utilized to complement traditional cardiorespiratory fitness testing during graded exercise. The purpose of this study was to compare cardiorespiratory responses and ventilatory efficiency in obese children during a progressive exercise test to volitional fatigue performed on a treadmill and a cycle ergometer. Fifteen obese male (N=3) and female (N=12) adolescents aged 10 to 18 years were recruited in the study and completed both the treadmill and cycle ergometer trials. Mean age and BMI of the sample was 13.3 years and 38.0 kg/m2, respectively. Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and ventilatory efficiency were determined during both exercise trials. Subsequently, overall VE/VCO2 slope and the slope below and above AT for ventilatory efficiency were compared between the two exercise modes. VO2max was significantly (p<0.05) greater during the treadmill trial (26.09±5.11 ml/kg/min) compared to the cycle ergometer trial (20.71± 4.31 ml/kg/min). The VO2 at anaerobic threshold (AT) was significantly (p<0.05) higher during the treadmill trial, however, the percentage of VO2max at AT was not significantly different between the two modes (treadmill-63.41± 6.29% and cycle ergometer (67.25± 6.99%). While there was no significant difference in the overall VE/VCO2 slope or the VE/VCO2 slope above anaerobic threshold obtained from the two modes, the VE/VCO2 slope below anaerobic threshold was significantly (p<0.05) higher in the treadmill trial (25.06±2.10) compared to the cycle ergometer trial (23.34± 2.12). In our small sample of obese adolescents, we observed a greater VE response for a given VCO2 during treadmill exercise below the anaerobic threshold. The differences observed may be related to a greater activation of muscle afferents during weight bearing exercise in obese adolescents.


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Date of Submission

December 2010