Cardiovascular and peak V̇O2 responses to supine exercise: Effects of age and training status

David N. Proctor, Wayne E. Sinning, Donald L. Bredle, Michael J. Joyner

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22 Scopus citations


Although stroke volume during exercise is affected by aging and posture, few studies have carefully examined the heart rate, blood pressure, and peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2) responses of older subjects to supine exercise. The present study examined these responses during graded supine cycling in younger (21-30 yr) and older (51-62 yr) untrained (Treadmill V̇O(2max) = 47.0 vs 32.3 ml · kg-1 · min-1) and endurance-trained (66.3 vs 52.7 ml · kg-1 · min-1) men (N = 6/group). All subjects had lower (P < 0.05) peak V̇O2 (ml · min-1) and peak heart rate responses during supine cycling compared with treadmill exercise. Additionally, the age-related reduction in peak V̇O2 (~20-30%) was similar for supine compared with treadmill testing, even when normalized to fat-free leg volume and fat-free mass, respectively. However, at given absolute intensities (V̇O2) of supine exercise, heart rates were 10-15 beats · min-1 less (P < 0.05) in both older groups. Across relative supine work intensities (% of peak), systolic pressure increased most rapidly in the younger trained and older untrained groups. These findings suggest that the effects of aging on peak V̇O2 are similar during treadmill and supine exercise in both endurance-trained and untrained men. These data also indicate that the heart rate response to supine exercise is attenuated in healthy older men and contributes to their reduced peak V̇O2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-899
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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