Zanae E. Baird, John Zody, & Greg K. Kandt. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas; e-mail: gkandt@fhsu.edu

Movements emphasizing lower extremity involvement such as walking, running, and cycling have traditionally been used as the activity mode during physiological exercise testing. Limited previous research on upper extremity exercise utilized upper body cycle ergometry or a standard push-pull rowing movement. Few upper extremity studies reported rate-pressure product values. Rate Pressure Product (RPP) is a well validated index of myocardial oxygen consumption. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare RPP between primarily lower extremity exercise utilizing an upright cycle ergometer and primarily upper extremity exercise utilizing a double arm swing ski ergometer. METHODS: Rate Pressure Product was measured using an automated motion tolerant monitor validated for medical exercise testing. The study utilized one dependent variable (rate-pressure product) and four independent variables (exercise mode, exercise intensity, age group and gender). Twenty-one total participants (6 females age 20-30, 4 females age 50-60; 5 males age 20-30 and 6 males age 50-60) completed the exercise protocol. A repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine the effects of exercise mode, gender and age on RPP at identical absolute exercise workloads (25, 35, 45, 55, & 65 watts) during a single graded exercise test. RESULTS: Significant differences in RPP were found for exercise mode (lower body peak RPP = 184.2 ± 33, upper body peak = 255 ± 33.6), but not for gender or group. Mean rate-pressure product increase for each workload was then compared using the Tukey LSD post hoc test. Rate-pressure product increase during each workload of upper extremity (RPP per stage = 28.7 ± 36.4) was significantly greater than during the corresponding lower extremity workload (RPP per stage = 15.2 ± 28.9). Rate Pressure Product was consistently higher for females vs. males and younger vs. older individuals, but the differences did not reach significance criteria in this study. CONCLUSION: These findings provide further evidence that higher RPP during upper extremity exercise is a generalized response which occurs in response to isolated upper extremity exercise independent of the exact arm movement or specific muscle involvement. The findings also indicate greater hemodynamic response to upper extremity exercise may be independent of gender or age.

Funding provided by grants from the National Center for Research Resources (5P20RR016475) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (8P20GM103418) from the National Institutes of Health.

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