The comparison of maximal oxygen consumption between seated and standing leg cycle ergometry: a practical analysis

Citation metadata

Authors: A. Bosak, J. Green, T. Crews and R. Deere
Date: Summer 2007
From: The Sport Journal(Vol. 10, Issue 3)
Publisher: United States Sports Academy
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,247 words

Main content

Article Preview :


Because previous studies have been equivocal, the current study compared V[O.sub.2]max between seated and standing cycle ergometry protocols in male (n=14) and female (n=22) volunteers of average cardiovascular fitness. All subjects completed maximal exertion seated (SIT) and standing (STD) cycle ergometry GXT protocols at 60 rev/min (rpm), with resistance increased by 30 Watts/min. SIT required individuals to remain seated for the duration of the test until achieving volitional exhaustion. For STD, subjects performed seated cycling until they felt it was necessary to stand to continue the GXT. Subjects were then required to stand and perform "standing cycling" (resistance increased 30 Watts/min) to volitional exhaustion. V[O.sub.2]max (ml/kg/min), peak HR (b/min), peak RER, and peak [V.sub.E] (L/min) were compared between SIT and STD using MANOVA. Results were considered significant at p [less than or equal to] 0.05. V[O.sub.2][max.sub.STD] (37.9 [+ or -] 8.0) was significantly greater than V[O.sub.2][max.sub.SIT] (36.8 [+ or -] 6.6), while [HR.sub.STD] (190 [+ or -] 9.5) was significantly greater than [HR.sub.SIT] (187 [+ or -] 9.6). V[O.sub.2][max.sub.STD] was, on average 2.0% greater than V[O.sub.2][max.sub.SIT], with a range of -16.9 to +17.4%, while [HR.sub.STD] was, on average 1.2% greater than [HR.sub.SIT], with values ranging from -5.6 to +7.4%. [VE.sub.STD] (86.0 [+ or -] 31.6) was not significantly different than [VE.sub.SIT] (82.6 [+ or -] 26.8), while [RER.sub.STD] (1.21 [+ or -] 0.096) was significantly lower than [RER.sub.SIT] (1.23 [+ or -] 0.065). Results suggest that the utilization of a standing protocol should be considered when cycle ergometry is the selected testing mode. Future research should seek to determine the characteristics of subjects who do/do not benefit from a standing cycle ergometry protocol.

Key Words: Aerobic Capacity, V[O.sub.2]max, Maximal Oxygen Consumption, Cycle Ergometry


Maximum oxygen consumption (V[O.sub.2]max) represents the highest rate at which oxygen can be consumed and utilized to produce energy sustaining aerobic activity. V[O.sub.2]max is regarded as the gold standard for assessing aerobic fitness. It is acknowledged as a substantial backbone for prescribing appropriate exercise and training intensities. Therefore, accurate determination of V[O.sub.2]max is vital.

Throughout history, V[O.sub.2]max has been assessed during numerous exercise modes such as treadmill, rowing, and cycle ergometry. Different modes and protocols have been compared to determine which protocol and/or mode permits the highest V[O.sub.2]max (Beasley, Fernhall, and Plowman, 1989; Coast, Cox, and Welch, 1986; Faria, Dix, and Frazer, 1978; Lavoie, Mahoney, and Marmelic, 1978; McArdle, Katch, and Katch, 2006; Mckay and Banister, 1976; Moffat and Sparling, 1985; Pivarnik, Mountain, Graves, and Pollock, 1988; Ricci and Leger, 1983; and Welbergen and Clijsen, 1990). Compared to seated cycle ergometry, treadmill exercise usually permits a higher V[O.sub.2]max due to the activation of more muscle mass and less pronounced leg fatigue. One of the more common V[O.sub.2]max tests implemented in exercise physiology labs is the Bruce treadmill protocol (Beasley et al., 1989; Fernhall and Kohrt, 1990; Kelly et al., 1980; Lavoie et al., 1978; Marsh and Martin, 1993; Moffat and Sparling, 1985; Ryschon and Stray-Gunderson, 1991; Verstappen, Huppertz, and Snoeckx, 1982; and Welbergen and Clijsen,...

Source Citation

Source Citation
Bosak, A., et al. "The comparison of maximal oxygen consumption between seated and standing leg cycle ergometry: a practical analysis." The Sport Journal, vol. 10, no. 3, summer 2007. Accessed 4 June 2023.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A170372855